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Reddit co-founder says he was ideologically on same wavelength as WallStreetBets GameStop traders

Reddit chief executive Steve Huffman said he was sympathetic ideologically with the rebel investors allied to the controversial WallStreetBets subreddit that launched a spectacular market assault on the hedge funds shorting American retailer GameStop Corp (NYSE:GME).

In a wide-ranging interview with the BBC, he also admitted he was late to spot the ‘mania’ around stock in the retailer, which drove the price from just over US$17 at the start of the year to an intra-day high of around US$500.

Asked whether he was sympathetic ideologically with what WSB did, Huffman told the Beeb: “Yes, because I think if you’ve got one transaction where one group has taken an extreme position and then another group can see that opportunity that maybe they’ve overextended themselves.”

He added: “Obviously, there’s a lot of risk there. But I think everybody goes in that situation-aware of that risk.”

Huffman described the whole episode as an ‘intriguing story’ from start to finish, even the pressure to block WSB, which Reddit resisted.

And when the BBC interview styled the encounter between the hedge funds and WSB as a David versus Goliath face-off, he didn’t disagree.

Huffman told the British broadcaster: “Oh, absolutely, because, you know, institutional investors have so much.

“There’s so many more resources in terms of knowledge, relationships, the ability to execute large trades. No individual could have done this.

“Although hedge funds wage war on each other all the time, we never see it.

“And so, to see a group of individuals kind of band together against some really well-resourced institutions, I think that’s an intriguing story from any angle.”

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