Beyond Unprecedented, S2 Ep2: Meme Stock Mania


Beyond Unprecedented, S2 Ep2: Meme Stock Mania


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If three stock traders get together to drive up the price of a stock and then dump it, that’s fraud. But what if nearly 900,000 individual investors send GameStop soaring because they love PlayStation and hate short sellers? And what if their plans were circulated in a social media forum instead of a back room? Retail investors jumped into the stock market thanks to the ease of trading apps like Robinhood and a dearth of other things to do during pandemic lockdowns. But are short sellers bad or just misunderstood?

Professor Joshua Mitts, an expert on the intersection of social media and the stock market, joins co-hosts Professor Eric Talley and Research Fellow Kate Waldock '23 to discuss the return of retail investors, the ramifications for short sellers, and what it all means for market regulation.

Episode Details

Released: November 18, 2021

Length: 30:15


Line art of Joshua Mitts

Joshua Mitts, associate professor of law and Milton Handler Fellow, uses advanced data science for his research on corporate and securities law. His primary focus is on informed trading in capital markets and related topics in law and finance. Mitts employs empirical methods for his research on short selling, securities lending, informed trading on cybersecurity breaches, information leakage and hedge fund activism, insider trading on corporate disclosures, and information transmission in financial markets. He recently presented “A Legal Perspective on Technology and the Capital Markets: Social Media, Short Activism and the Algorithmic Revolution,” at the New Special Study of the Securities Markets: Columbia/FINRA Technology Conference hosted by The Program in the Law and Economics of Capital Markets, where he is a fellow. Mitts is also a member of the Center for Financial and Business Analytics at Columbia University’s Data Science Institute.

Hosted By:

Line art of Eric Talley

Eric Talley, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, writes and researches at the intersection of corporate law, governance, and finance. As a co-director of the Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership, Talley shapes research and programs focused on the future of corporate governance and performance. Talley is a frequent commentator in the national media, and he speaks regularly to corporate boards and regulators on issues pertaining to fiduciary duties, governance, and finance. He is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, and earned his J.D. and Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.

Line art of Kate Waldock

Kate Waldock ’23 is a research fellow with the Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership and is the first student to take part in the Academic Scholars Program at Columbia Law, where she is pursuing her J.D. She was previously an assistant professor of finance at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business. From 2017 to 2020, Waldock served as the co-host, with Luigi Zingales, of the economics podcast Capitalisn’t. On the last season of Beyond Unprecedented, she was a featured guest on episode three, A New Chapter for Bankruptcy? Waldock’s research interests include bankruptcy, corporations, and banking. Waldock has a bachelor's degree in economics from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in finance from New York University.


Economics | Law | Law and Economics | Securities Law


Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership

Beyond Unprecedented, S2 Ep2: Meme Stock Mania