First, are the Reddit revolutionaries new populists descended from the radicals of Occupy Wall Street? No. They’re basically a bunch of dudes upvoting memes with cash. Or, to be more generous, they represent an extremely online evolution of Big Finance itself, a kind of decentralized hedge fund duking it out with other hedge funds. The typical day trader is a pretty well-off man in his 30s, and various reports so far show that some of the Reddit group’s leading members are current and former finance workers, some of whom make enough money to live in gated communities. By using a message board to move markets and cream billionaires, they’ve done something truly fascinating. But while some Redditors made millions recently, the largest holders of GameStop stock, like the giant asset manager BlackRock, made billions. None of this has anything to do with “the little guy”—a moniker that, by any reasonable definition, refers to the roughly 50 percent of American adults with no money whatsoever in the stock market and who probably shouldn’t kick off their investment career by buying into a mania.

Second, when Robinhood restricted trading on GameStop, was it trying to squash a populist rebellion? “I think there has to be an investigation and people have to go to jail,” Dave Portnoy, the founder and CEO of Barstool Sports, told Tucker Carlson. “I’ve never been more convinced about market manipulation and hedge funds controlling the game than today.”

But what really happened had little to do with manipulation or hedge funds. Robinhood just ran out of money. With the sudden explosion in price and volatility for stocks including GameStop and AMC, the brokerage had to fork over several billion dollars to a clearinghouse of stocks, the National Securities Clearing Corporation. But Robinhood didn’t have the cash.