GameStop, Executive Orders, and Better Sleep

It's not a newsletter if it's not covering GameStop

The lines between news and opinion are often blurred. In What You Missed This Week, I serve up the facts and present My Take in separate sections to help you distinguish news from spin. 

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Politics

Executive Orders Galore

  • As of Friday, January 29th, President Biden had signed 42 executive orders. If you want to see a list of them, check out CNN's piece outlining all of them and summarizing what they mean. 

  • Republicans are repeating a statement that Joe Biden said during his town hall in October when Biden said, "things you can't do by executive order unless you're a dictator." - The Hill

  • In case you don't know what an executive order is, I pulled the definition from the History Channel's website. "An executive order is an official directive from the U.S. president to federal agencies that often have much the same power of a law." - History.com

  • Also, for those who think executive orders are a new thing in politics, check out this chart. It shows the number of executive orders per President. The leader in the clubhouse is Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), with a whopping 3,721 orders - The American Presidency Project

My Take:

  • Some people complain that our government doesn't get anything done and think it is a bug in our government system. It is actually by design. The Framers of the constitution wanted to make sure there was broad consensus on a topic before taking top-down action. A simple majority would not cut it. They were apprehensive about majorities imposing their will on minorities.

  • When a President takes unilateral action without Congress's approval in the name of "getting things done," they are doing the exact opposite of the intended design. 

  • Republicans and Democrats alike don't have much principle when it comes to executive actions. Most Republicans turned the other way or justified when Trump signed executive actions to undo President Obama's executive actions. Democrats quickly jumped and called Trump a dictator. But when president Biden does the same thing, Democrats similarly defend and justify the move.

  • Call to Conversation: I enjoy talking about politics (if you can't tell) and if you ever disagree with something I write or want me to expand on my thoughts, send me an email at huskdoes@gmail.com

Stock Market

GameStonk

  • Unless you live under a rock, your social media feeds have probably been filled with GameStop, but some of you might be asking why? Here is a short clip (1:30) by Ben Shapiro explaining what's been happening with GameStop. 

  • You would think a stock being up 1600% in a month would be enough for front-page news, but what put GameStop on everyone's radar was when on Wednesday, No-Fee trading platform Robinhood all of a sudden halted purchases of the stock. They also stopped the purchase of AMC, Bed Bath and Beyond, Blackberry and Nokia. Which investors also thought had an opportunity to experience a GameStop-type short squeeze.

  • And in a real moment of unification, Dave Portnoy (Barstool Sports Founder), D-NY Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), Mark Cuban, Donald Trump Jr., and others voiced their outrage over the action that Robinhood and other trading platforms did - Benzinga

  • Before getting too conspiratorial about what happened, I think it is a good idea to read this article by Tech Crunch titled The somewhat boring reason it appears that Robinhood yanked trading on some securities. There will be an investigation into what happened, and I am sure the investigation will surface plenty of emails and texts. If anything nefarious happened, it should come out.

My Take:

  • Full disclosure: I own three shares of GameStop, and no, I have not made a lot of money off my position.

  • I am not a big fan of shorting stocks. You are essentially making money on another person's demise. I would rather sell my current shares if I think a company is going down or bypass purchasing the stock. The fact people on Wall Street created a mechanism to profit off of companies doing poorly seems icky.

  • I think coming out of this, there will be some new rules and regulations set by the SEC to curb this kind of behavior in the future. I am generally never a fan of regulation and prefer what Citron (a company that was a part of the GameStop short) is doing. That is, they are going to stop publishing their short research and instead focus on long-term research. - Reuters

Something Random

I am going to start including something like this in my newsletters. Many of the topics I cover are pretty heavy, so I want to make sure you can leave this newsletter with something light to take with you into the new week.

The Road to Better Sleep Begins the Moment you Wake Up 

by Joe Holder in GQ

  • This article starts by discussing how sleep is essential and cites studies supporting this claim—nothing groundbreaking in that section. Most people understand how important sleep is but never seem to get enough.

  • What made this article interesting to me was the routine around sleep that I generally don't hear or read too much about, and that is when you wake up.

  • An oversimplification of his proposed solution is to give yourself 15 minutes when you wake up for yourself. That means no phone, no coffee, and no rush. 

  • Holder recommends getting some sunlight (if possible), journal about what you are grateful for or what you dreamed about, and rate your sleep.

  • I'm going to do this for a week and let you know my results.