GameStop’s trip to the moon was a short-lived and dangerous path — especially for the average college student who’s just starting to invest.
If you’ve been on the Reddit front page in the past few weeks (or as long as you haven’t been living under a rock), you’ve probably heard about the Wall Street Bets subreddit (r/wallstreetbets) and the unpredictable price drama of GameStop stock. At first, the interest in GameStop was loosely motivated by fundamentals. Ryan Cohen, the founder of the successful online pet food company Chewy, joined the board in early January and investors thought that he could perhaps turn around GameStop’s brick-and-mortar business model and transform it into an online machine. Then, Reddit caught on. Suddenly, buying GameStop became the newest trend and a variety of stock market mechanisms only interesting to business frat bros and finance Ph.D. students (if it wasn’t for this debacle, would anyone have heard of the gamma squeeze or the short squeeze?) came into play.
Prestigious universities like Cornell are, in theory, institutions where talented young people receive the education, ideas and skills needed to tackle the world’s most pressing issues. A closer look into elite culture reveals that these conceptions are fantasies that serve privileged, wealthy sectors of society that equate their own interests with those of the rest of the world. While the concerns of financial institutions, big tech and other sources of extreme wealth are carefully looked after by Cornell as an institution and community, the most fundamental issues for the world’s poor majority and for future generations: Climate change, nuclear proliferation and widespread hunger, are hardly considered outside of abstraction. That two of these issues are existential threats to human civilization is a testament to the irrationality of managerial class interests which dominate discourse among the political, business and intellectual communities. That universities like Cornell ignore calls for modest steps towards social responsibility on climate change, whereas dialogue about world hunger and nuclear proliferation is virtually nonexistent, is demonstrative of an intellectual environment that discourages cosmopolitan, rational policy in favor of the pathological preservation of the status quo. Elite universities indoctrinate future professionals and upper-class members of society into conformity, creating generation after generation of obedient capitalists.
Former Cornell senior lecturer Dr. Susan Fleming encouraged young women to “know their own worth and the power that they have” when dealing with job or salary negotiations in her lecture, titled “Thank You, Next Offer: Salary Negotiations for Women.”
Ten years ago, before many of us had the requisite adult teeth to pronounce “synthetic collateralized debt obligation,” capitalism failed. Or at least it seemed that way. On September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers, once an investment bank holding assets worth thrice the GDP of Greece, filed for bankruptcy. It was, and remains, the largest bankruptcy in American history. Markets tumbled across the globe in a housing-fueled financial crisis that wiped out over $30 trillion in wealth by March 2009.
Earlier this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the popular statue of a young girl staring down Wall Street’s famous ‘Charging Bull’ will remain in place through February of the following year. This was especially news to me, who thought that statue was never actually leaving. I love the statue of the young girl. I don’t think I could give you one way in which I would change its conception; I love that the statue exists, I love what it represents to me, and I especially love that a large part of its existence is left with enough ambiguity that each person may interpret what it means for themselves. Yes, factually the statue was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors, a firm that meant for the statue to represent “the present, but also the future.” As Stephen Tisdalle, chief marketing officer of State Street elaborates, “She’s not angry at the bull — she’s confident, she knows what she’s capable of, and she’s wanting the bull to take note.”Frankly, however, it doesn’t matter why the firm commissioned the statue and what they meant for it to represent.
Stick and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. So goes the tune we were all taught as 7-year-olds to make ourselves feel better after getting mercilessly teased by the school bully. But flash forward to 2008 and it seems like the pen has come back with a mighty vengeance.
“Expediency is not a good guide for policy, and that is where we are right now,” said Prof. Maureen O’Hara, the Robert W. Purcell Professor of Management in the Johnson School of Management.
As Congress continues to debate Bush’s proposed $700 billion economic recovery plan, last night a panel of professors from the Johnson School analyzed the causes of the financial crisis and offered solutions for the future. Over 250 people attended the discussion.
Moderated by Prof. Doug Stayman, marketing, and the associate dean for curriculum at the Johnson School, the Market Crisis Panel addressed the tumultuous events in the finance world that have happened over the past days.
Last week, Wall Street experienced its most severe credit crisis since the Great Depression. Several long-standing monetary institutions, including investment banks Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, and American International Group, crashed, and the Dow Jones Industrial average fell over 800 points by mid-week before rebounding significantly on Thursday and Friday.