In the situation that I described, where this isn’t institutional manipulation but an organic coalition of home traders, which one of those levers needs the most work?
There’s two things that need to happen before we discover when the dust settles. First, we need to see who’s going to be left holding the bag. If it’s the retail investors that started this, then it’s going to be much harder to convince people to join a mob like this in the future. There’s going to be a moment where people in that retail investor group who are part of the “hold the line” crew decide they want to take their profits. They’re going to want to appropriate the value that’s been created on paper. Once they start doing that, the stock price is going to drop, and then somebody is going to be left holding the bag and it’s not clear who that’s going to be. Is it going to be the people who tagged along or people who were found to have been organizing, or is that distinction even relevant? It’s not clear yet.
Once we see who is holding the bag, we need to see if there will be SEC action. If there is, who is the SEC going to act against and how are they going to do it? That could also be a deterrent for future behavior like this.