Gamestop: People are watching The Big Short to try and understand the Wall Street vs Reddit saga

Comedy film starring Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carrell and Brad Pitt tackled the financial dealings of the 2007-2008 US market crash

Louis Chilton
Thursday 28 January 2021 12:02
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The Big Short trailer

Adam McKay’s comedy-drama The Big Short is experiencing a surge in interest amid the ongoing battle between Wall Street and redditors.

A large number of Reddit users in the “WallStreetBets” subreddit caused the price of stock for US video game retailer Gamestop to skyrocket earlier this week. 

Instead of falling, as had been anticipated, the price of the stock rose more than 400 per cent this week alone, amid a flurry of interest from members of the 2 million-subscriber internet forum.

The stock activity, known as a “short squeeze”, led to multi-billion dollar losses for Wall Street hedge fund Melvin Capital, which had in effect “bet against” Gamestop’s success.

The Big Short, first released in 2015, tells the story of the US Wall Street crash and financial crisis of 2007 to 2008.  It is based on American author and financial journalist Michael Lewis’s 2010 book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine.

In the film, Christian Bale plays Michael Burry, a hedge fund manager who decides to exploit a weakness in the US housing market. 

Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt also star as figures in the US finance industry around the time of the market crash.

The film was notable for its use of inventive, often comedic, methods of explaining complex financial ideas to its audience.

Read more: GameStop: Reddit users claim victory as $13bn hedge fund closes position, accepting huge losses

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These included cameo appearances from the late Anthony Bourdain, Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie, the latter of whom explains financial terms like “subprime mortgages” while drinking champagne in a bubble-filled bathtub.

The Big Short is not currently streaming in the UK, though it can be rented on demand on most film platforms. 

In the US, the film can be streamed on Crackle, Popcornflix, and the WWE Network.

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