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tv   Our World  BBC News  December 24, 2021 1:30am-2:01am GMT

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in a routine traffic stop has been found guilty of manslaughter at her trial in minneapolis. kimberly potter mistook her handgun for a taser when she shot daunte wright. a uk government study has shown that people who catch the omicron strain of covid are far less likely to end up in hospital. but there is concern the boosterjab protection begins to wane after ten weeks. ecuador has made it compulsory for everyone aged five or over to get the coronavirus vaccine, in response to the increase in covid infections. only those with a medical justification will be exempt. the renowned american authorjoan didion has died at the age of 87. in an illustrious career she chronicled contemporary us life in the 1960s and �*70s. didion worked as a novelist, screenwriter, and journalist. it was christmas eve last year
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that britain and the eu finally managed to seal the trade and cooperation agreement that now governs most post—brexit trade. a year on, our economics editor faisal islam has been speaking to a number of business owners. a battle of wills, a precision wrestle. at times during the first year of the post—brexit trade deal it has felt like the uk and the eu have not stopped the fight. but it's exporters, such as thisjudo equipment and video producer in bristol, feel like they are the ones left on the floor. rubbish. it is bad on every level and i would like someone to say to me there was some kind of upside but there isn't one. overall, uk exports to the eu are down 12% in the first ten months of the year on pre—pandemic levels in 2019. uk imports from the eu are down further, 20% on that year. some of both these numbers is down to the pandemic as well. in addition, eu figures show tariffs have been paid on over £10 billion of british exports
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to the eu over the past year. this means for some exporters the deal has not been zero tariff. it's not true. for you here, for those suits? for us here, that's right. why would it cost you 178 euros to accept delivery in italy? so ministers would say, although it comes from this warehouse, because it was ultimately manufactured elsewhere, it doesn't count within the deal? that's right. and some places seem to be more difficult to get things sent to than others. these came back again last week. this created risks visible here, boxes of exports being returned at businesses�* expense, costing time and effort. other exporters who we spoke to injanuary, for example samways fish processors in dorset, had been struggling to cope with dozens of pages of red tape, now say they have found a way through. things have massively improved.
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on the whole, much happier than where we were, but i think to say that things are perfect, i don't think they will ever be. i think it is potentially something we have got to live with. some sharp export falls this year, such as in the car industry, could almost entirely be attributed to global pandemic factors rather than brexit. indeed, the signing of the trade deal helped confirm nissan's commitment to sunderland, unleashing new investments in electric vehicles. although the first year of global britain trading outside of the european union has avoided some of the dramatic worst—case scenarios, there has been a clear hit in the trade figures that goes beyond what you would expect from the pandemic. and in individual sectors, it has been marked, such as the re—export of clothing and the export of food and animal products — they have gone well beyond teething problems. and for the government, they have played this down but privately, they say, british exporters have got to get used to a new reality, that there is a customs border
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with the eu. in birmingham, eskimo is creating green radiators for heating your home. almost everywhere, experts are —— exports are booming. everywhere, experts are -- exports are booming. trade fell off a cliff- _ exports are booming. trade fell off a cliff. that's _ exports are booming. trade fell off a cliff. that's not _ exports are booming. trade fell off a cliff. that's not a - off a cliff. that's not a pandemic— off a cliff. that's not a pandemic effect? - off a cliff. that's not a pandemic effect? if i off a cliff. that's not a pandemic effect? if it| off a cliff. that's not a i pandemic effect? if it is off a cliff. that's not a . pandemic effect? if it is a pandemic _ pandemic effect? if it is a pandemic effect, - pandemic effect? if it is a pandemic effect, weight l pandemic effect? if it is a | pandemic effect, weight is atonio? if we want to operate in that market we have to open a plant somewhere on the continent.— a plant somewhere on the continent. �* , , ., ., continent. and yet if you had the same — continent. and yet if you had the same trading _ continent. and yet if you had i the same trading arrangements as last year that could have happened in...— as last year that could have happened in... exactly. that would have _ happened in... exactly. that would have happened - happened in... exactly. that would have happened in - would have happened in birmingham. yes. so after a year, particularly for smaller business exporters to europe, global britain remains a work in progress. faisal islam, bbc news. injanuary, something very strange happened on the us stock market. the shares of gamestop, an unfashionable high—street games store, suddenly went through the roof and kept rising. james clayton met the investors, who made a fortune
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trading from their bedrooms, the tech supremos, who watched on in astonishment, and the hedge fund giants who are now nursing their losses. there's this narrative that this was a david and goliath story. it's all of these hedge funds, like yours, against the people — and the people won. i'll put it this way. if a 5—year—old walked into this room right now, i could probably kick his ass. if 1,000 five—year—olds walked in here, they could probably take me down. just being honest about it. is that a david versus goliath story? uh, you know — no! something happened this january that no—one expected. it was a little bit like an internet revolution. we were team human, team normal, regular guy. it's united capitalists... for everything that's gone gone on for the last few hundred
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years on wall street. ..socialists. .. if there was a smaller chance that i could have a direct impact on ruining some billionaire's life, i wanted in on it. ..and youtubers. so how much did you make? um, $40,000-ish? the idea that an internet forum could take a failing company and by collectively investing in it, or to use the parlance, "taking it to the moon," take on hedge funds and win, seemed impossible. houston, if that's not the earth, we're in trouble! but was this really a people's revolution? this is not— a david—versus—goliath story, but more of a goliath—versus—goliath story. the gamestop story is the story of its investors, and we'll be telling it through the
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experiences of three amateurs in california who all buy and sell their shares using trading apps. gavin may, a 19—year—old youtube star, parkour enthusiast and amateur online trading guru. do you sometimes wonder why people listen to a 19—year—old who's been trading for, like, six months? yeah, no, totally. that's definitely a very valid question. john motter, who works for a homeless charity. he blames big finance for some of la's housing problems. have you ever bought any shares before? no. first time? first time. and casper and matt who run a social media marketing company. i'm a gambling guy and i really believed in the power of memes and i put my money where my mouth is. a year ago, gamestop to many was a business slowly dying. it sells physical games at an actual shop, and many on wall street thought that
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that business model wasn'tjust outdated, it was prehistoric. a business doomed to fail. its share price this time last year was around the $3 mark. over the summer, though, a few investors began to proselytise about gamestop. people like the then—obscure youtuber, keith gill, roaringkitty. many think it's a foolish investment, but everyone's are wrong! they argued that far from being dead in the water, gamestop had potential. gamestop is an established, uniquely—positioned player in a thriving $150 billion gaming industry. one group in particular was listening. an internet message board called wallstreetbets. so could you just describe to someone who's never been on wallstreetbets, roughly
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what the culture is? yeah, i mean... it's hard to do it without, um, without using offensive terms, but it is veryjuvenile, very subconsciously absurdist. their favourite thing to do is something called "loss porn," where you share your biggest losses. and everyone will be like, "hey, man, goodjob!" like, "you lost $1 million, goodjob, man!" sort of the nature of the sub is, like, riskier bets. - i can't tell, like, what'sj a meme and what isn't. but all those meme postsj are feeding into the larger goal of getting as many people to buy stocks as possible. - slowly, gamestop started to get a buzz, and gradually the share price began to tick up. this is the first official close above $14, so cheers to that shit! so i first read about gamestop through the subreddit, wallstreetbets. i think the first time i bought
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in was late november to early december. i think the stock price was around $16 back then. gamestop's share price had attracted the attention of another kind of investor — short sellers. hedge funds that thought gamestop was overpriced. hedge funds like citron capital, founded and run by this man, andrew left. i'd known gamestop for a long time. to me it looked like they were following the blockbuster video path. and then all of a sudden we found out in december, while the industry was actually up — the video game industry had their best month ever, december of 2020 — gamestop actually had a bad quarter, ora bad month. they were declining, and that was supposed to be their saviour month. and that's when i started to short the stock. left�*s hedge fund was now one of the many hedge funds that were shorting gamestop. essentially, they were betting that the share price would fall. if it did, they would make money. but that had also been noticed by people on wallstreetbets.
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gamestop happened to be one of the names that was most frequently shorted. they'd worked out that if gamestop's share price went up, hedge funds would lose money. and many users on the platform came up with a theory that went like this. if enough of us were to buy together, in conjunction, could we create a short squeeze which would force some of these hedge funds who are betting against gamestop to close out their position by buying gamestop back, and therefore pushing the price of gamestop even higher? wallstreetbets is a forum on san francisco—based reddit, one of the biggest social media companies in the world. and watching on was its chief executive and founder, steve huffman. i've known about wallstreetbets for years. wallstreetbets is in fact one of my guilty pleasures on reddit. was there a point where you were like, huh, this
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is a bigger story than i thought? on wallstreetbets, there's often a couple of stocks or companies that have their attention. and so over the years, it's been tesla, it's been virgin galactic, it's been blackberry. and so in my mind i'm just browsing reddit, gamestop, ok, gamestop's got their infatuation right now. so i was actually a little bit late to the party. i didn't realise reddit had leaked into the real world again. so it was really at the take—off of the mania, i was like, ok, this is a bigger one. by mid—january the price of gamestop shares was nearly $30, a tenfold increase from eight months before. it was about to go stratospheric. i got the champagne. cheers, congratulations, look at this shit! look at this shit, 60%!
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when did you start thinking, oh, dear — something's happening here? well, i was about to go do a twitter live feed. and i think like 150,000 people would sign on in the first few minutes. remember that line from jaws — "i think i need a bigger boat!" it's about this point when gamestop shares truly took off. ridiculous, ridiculous. ridiculous, argh! i remember that day. i think we opened at, like, $39 and at the peak of the day it was $76. watching this chart gives me heart problems, i swear to god. we both bought between, what, $70 or $80? around there. newsreel: gamestop had another wild day of trading. _ and it was ridiculous. we were texting each other all night. there was a couple of good mornings... a couple of really good mornings, yeah! newsreel: gamestop isn't stopping. - fuelled by social media, i the video game company... all the money you had in the world was doubled? yeah, crazy. in just a few hours?
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completely crazy. and that was only, like, the first of five days of craziness. gamestop was going to the moon. the price was going up and up and up. there's more and more activity, more and more news, more and more attention. newsreel: the video game retailer hit a high _ of $380 a share... gamestop was now in uncharted waters. its share price had increased by 100 times since march. we have gamestop hitting $300 and $350, and there was even an after hours session when the market was closed, but you know, especially large institutions can still trade, where it hit $450! i bought in at around $330, a first share. so i was a latecomer. word got out there was a good chance the hedge funds and billionaires that got greedy, and bought those enormous short positions, were going to be completely ruined over this. and so, even if there was a smaller chance that i could have a direct impact on ruining some billionaire's life, i wanted in on it.
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steve huffman was looking on. he had the power to switch wallstreetbets off. was there any pressure on you to maybe lock down wallstreetbets ? we faced that question, that literal question — is there pressure, should you do something? but our motivation, or what we were trying to do, our duty in the situation was actually the opposite, to keep wallstreetbets online. so we did take a closer look here, but really, we were making sure the community didn't break. because a lot of people were coming to reddit for that experience. with reddit keeping wallstreetbets up, it now seemed unstoppable. can i ask how much you lost in total? no, i mean... i think the fund was down approximately, i don't even know... 18%, 19% —18%, possibly. how much is that in cash terms? i won't discuss that.
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that figure is certainly in the millions, and likely the tens of millions. but then something happened. one of the biggest trading apps used by amateur investors, called robinhood, based here near san francisco, made a crucial decision. it and other trading apps were happy for people to sell gamestop shares, but it wanted to restrict people from buying them. that really took the wind out of the sails for the whole movement, because now the majority of the people can't even buy this stock. and obviously, you know, a lot of people started freaking out a bit. robinhood's reason? well, their chief executive testified to congress that they'd run out of capital to meet deposit requirements — ir in other words, so they claimed, they were running out of money. we don't answer to hedge funds. we serve the millions of small investors who use our platform every day to invest.
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and then it basically started falling back down to earth, and first it fell back to sort of $200, then $100. the clue to robinhood's branding is in the name. a trading app that's self—reported mo was to democratise trading had, to some, protected the rich. no—one cared. like, and it happened right in front of your face, they blatantly did it, and no—one can say anything. so that's when we were thinking, ok, we should... you know, we give brands and companies a voice all the time, let's try giving the little guy a voice for something we really are passionate about. you decided to fly a plane over robinhood's offices in the bay area. we did. yes. i think robinhood catching the brunt of this, like, they created that irony for themselves. they cashed in on the brand image of democratising trading and making it so that the average man can participate and play in this much bigger game, that typically, you know, they've been closed out of. and as soon as the little guy
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starts to actually win some chips at the table, then they have to shut down the game. one of the things that came up time and time again when talking to amateur investors is how much they believe that the financial systems were rigged to benefit the rich. and much of that seemed to stem from the 2008 financial crash. well, nothing was learned from 2008. no—one was held accountable, the banks were bailed out. you know, i couldn't get a job. i couldn't afford housing at that point. you know, i crashed on a friend's couch. you can kind of see on the posts, like, the difference between the memes and the jokes and the person who's like, you know, "this is for my immigrant parents." "this is for the people who ruined my dad's business in 2008." there's a lot of earnest posts on there still. it's notjust socialists who think that. jordan belfort was a vocal supporter of wallstreetbets.
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his financial crimes were characterised in the film the wolf of wall street. and that's a real wolf? that is a real—life wolf that was there at the time. he went to prison, but claims now to be reformed. when i got indicted and went to jail, never once did it occur to me that i was innocent. seriously, i neverfelt like i was persecuted. i got what i deserved, i trusted the institutions that put me away in jail, i did my time, and i got out and i rebuilt my life. most people today don't trust the institutions that are essentially meting out justice. they watched what happened in 2008, and we all saw the movie the big short, or at least many of us did. at the end is a funny scene — "funny" — where the say, "and all the bad guys went to jail." and it's like, ha ha, just kidding, no—one went to jail. and we laugh or at least smirk because we know it's true, but in our stomachs, it's not right, and we know it.
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and it erodes the trust of the people. so i think you find a lot of people right now, they just. .. they know it's not right. by early february, the share price of gamestop was about a tenth of its market high, and on the way down people lost a lot of money. casper�*s shares were at one point worth around $100,000. he sold a few, but he hung on to most of them, he says out of principle. on the way down, his shares decreased in value by more than $60,000. i could have made a little bit of money, but i think the experience... i think some people are going to be mad that i'm saying this, but i think the experience was worth it, you know? i don't really get too attached to the gains until i've sold. john motter bought high. he says he only invested what he could afford to lose. but many others bought high thinking gamestop would go to the moon and lost big.
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i do think that there were many who strongly believed that they could drive the price up, and it would just stay there, and it would stay up, forever. and the only thing i can think of that functions that way has been bitcoin. gamestop didn't behave like bitcoin, though, and many people holding onto their shares were being egged on by other reddit users, whilst others were selling. there were definitely people trying to get everybody whipped into a frenzy so they could cash out. so you're constantly saying you're taking it to the moon, while at the same time, yourself, trying to divest. it's easy to forget that there's really millions of people on here that aren't commenting, all they have is a username and theyjust joined it and they're just reading along and making their own decisions. reddit is like the definition of confirmation bias. - because the way the platform works is that content gets - served to you based on how many upvotes it gets. - so people have to agreel with you for your content
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to reach the front page. so that means you're only - going to hear from the people who are saying whatl people want to hear. you're only going toi hear from the people who are diamond—handing it. right, so if someone said, "do you know what, guys, i think we should sell up now..." no—one's going to like it. no—one's going to like it, so, it's just the more extreme funny stuff that gets upvoted, and you get that false bias? that's so interesting. yep, exactly. i asked reddit�*s boss whether he felt any responsibility for those who lost out. i think any trade, any trade, notjust a risky one like that wallstreetbets is known for, has risks. but it also has opportunity. and i think it's important that individuals have that opportunity. like, i don't think we as a society should be so paternal to say that, well, this group is smart enough to make these decisions, but this group, you know, we should keep them out. and nobody goes to
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wallstreetbets thinking that this is a safe place to spend money. gamestop has been characterised as a wallstreetbets vs wall street battle. but we didn't interview anyone who thought it was as simple as that. i suppose the question is, was this a people's revolution? well, it certainly started as a people's revolution. and then i'm sure it would be only logical that any shrewd, large investor would say, "hmm, look what they're doing, let's jump on that bandwagon." and i think the important thing, and what makes this dangerous, is those sophisticated investors that got in on the back are smart enough and sophisticated enough to know when to get out of the situation, while the little guy is typically the one that ends up holding the bag. and that's very dangerous and sad. tantalisingly, what could have happened is hedge funds taking aim at other hedge funds.
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this narrative that it was just wallstreetbets that moved it, i mean, a lot of other people think, uh, no, it must have been much bigger forces at play. obviously there was a short squeeze, obviously it could well have been hedge funds trying to screw over other hedge funds. sure, absolutely. really? you think other hedge funds were doing that, potentially? i mean, if you saw an opportunity to make money, its legal, it's fair. go buy stock, it's an open market. what's without doubt is that wallstreetbets helped to start things rolling. but much larger financial players were also heavily involved. people using robinhood and people who are not large institutions, are not registered financial professionals, are a bigger part of the market than they've ever been. they're about a quarter, 25%. but they're still a small player, relative to the biggest institutions. and so when you see a price movement from gamestop at $18 all the way up to $325, it's very unlikely that the only people that are buying
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and driving that price up are the retail traders, just by virtue of their size in the marketplace. so what just happened ? was this something extraordinary, did something change, and could it happen again? you're going to find that the large institutions have already made changes in their policies that pretty much prevent these extreme situations from happening. i would be certain that right now, there is not a chat board out there that any hedge fund doesn't have their people in there in every single chat, watching everything that's going on. andrew left says he'll think twice about shorting in the future. did i lose money on gamestop? yeah, i took it, i moved on, i have many good years left of me in the stock market, i hope. you don't think that's what happened will make people more nervous about shorting? in the future? of course it will. no, no, of course.
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and as for gamestop, well, it's now looking to move its operations digitally. its share price is still incredibly variable. in february, it's been between $40 and $200. casper and matt believe what happened shows what the internet can do through collective action. i think from now on the hedge funds are going to have, in their risk models and prediction models, there's going to be a new line item in there, like, "hey, watch out for this everyone ganging up on us and grouping together scenario." that's never happened before. without the internet, that would be impossible to accomplish that. john's investment was relatively small, but he lost most of it. i don't think any, like, change has come out of this. that's been pretty apparent. i hope people see that, i hope everyone who gets screwed over does see that no—one's coming to bail them out and changes aren't being made to help the little guy. if nothing else happens, i hope people get educated
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around that and just, like, learn a lesson. and gavin says he ended up making $40,000. there is this kind of assumption that a lot of people who are on wallstreetbets were just there to, like, make a political point about hedge funds, but actually there were lots of retail investors that were there to make money, like you. yeah, no, definitely. i would say, as much as people say that they wanted to make a point about hedge funds, at the end of the day they all wanted to make some money. what's clear is that trading apps have transformed the financial system. trading's become more democratic, but conversely, it's also become more risky — exaggerating the highs and the lows. the story of gamestop, then, is both inspirational and cautionary. if this was a revolution, it was one that had its casualties, of some investors who reached for the moon and didn't quite make it.
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hello there. the snow levels are lowering across scotland, we could see several ——s by morning across the hills, quite treacherous with the icy conditions. elsewhere, some fog issues to come, reducing visibility, the warnings are all up to date on the website. it's these areas where we're seeing some of that fog forming because we've got the light winds and the clearing skies. but it will be pretty murky underneath our weather front further north, where it's either raining, or snowing over the hills. pretty icy. the fog will be slow to clear, then
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some brightness around and fading as the rolls in on the next weather front. the best of the brighter weather is further north across scotland. just a little bit of wintriness over the hills. as for christmas and boxing day, it seems the cold air comes southwards.
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welcome to bbc news. i'm simon pusey. our top stories: a former minnesota police officer is found guilty of manslaughter for killing daunte wright during a traffic stop. the moment that we heard "guilty" on manslaughter one — emotions, every single emotion that you could imagine just running through your body at that moment. researchers in britain say people catching omicron are up to 70% less likely to need hospital care, compared with previous coronavirus variants. the former south korean president park geun—hye, who was jailed on corruption charges, is being pardoned by the government. and the renowned american journalist and author joan didion dies at the age of 87.


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