The Wolf on Wall Street

Samuel Ogali, Courier Staff

Jordan Belfort. For those that aren’t familiar with that name, go and watch the Martin Scorsese film, The Wolf of Wall Street. That film pretty much encapsulates who he is and why he is so synonymous with Wall Street and stock trading. Now in all honesty, I really don’t know that much about Wall Street and stock trading, but all I’ve been hearing for weeks is everything that’s been going with GameStop. GameStop was a place where I would always go to buy video games growing up,b but over the past couple of years more people have either resorted to simply downloading them or ordering them from platforms like Amazon. As a result of this, GameStop has often been compared to BlockBuster as people see the company eventually going out of business. 

With GameStop’s future in a state of uncertainty, more Wall Street hedge funders were betting against GameStop, hoping to make a profit on it’s increasing decline. Then, all of the sudden, a group of Reddit small traders, known as WallStreetBets, started investing in the stock and GameStop’s stock increasingly rose. With the stock shattering previous projectings, the hedge funders who betted against it were losing a considerable amount of money, while small average traders were making a considerable amount.

However, a twist of fate occurred when public trading platforms such as Robinhood banned people from trading stocks, such as GameStop and AMC, that were initially projected to do the exact opposite. With this action, countless people such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Barstool Sports CEO Dave Portnoy expressed their outrage, with Portnoy even going as far to call it criminal. As a result of this outrage, Robinhood eventually lifted their restrictions, but have now come under financial and political criticism. A class action lawsuit was filed against Robinhood and lawmakers such as Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has both condemned the platform and even advocated for some consequence or penalty for the restrictions.   

During all of this, I wanted to know the opinion of the one guy who knew the ins and outs of stock trading, and that was Belfort. I’ll admit, Belfort did go to prison for taking advantage of people with his brokerage firm, but the guy still knows what he’s talking about. Belfort, in recent interviews, encouraged what the Reddit users had done and described the ordeal as ‘David vs. Goliath.’ He also encouraged people to get out while they’re ahead as more people can get hurt if they continue to stay long term.

The one thing I was not expecting was Belfort to recreate his “we’re not leaving” scene from the film. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. Hearing the “real” Wolf of Wall Street recreate that entire scene was pretty amusing to watch.