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GameStop Burned Andrew Left in 2021. He’s Betting Against the Stock Again.

Short seller says he has taken a smaller position this time: ‘It’s a cult stock’

Andrew Left says the current GameStop craze is in many ways more confounding than the previous one. Brendan McDermid/Reuters

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Short seller Andrew Left can’t stay away from GameStop GME 19.13%increase; green up pointing triangle.

His bet against the videogame retailer three years ago unleashed fury from GameStop devotees. They ordered dozens of pizzas to his house after midnight, hacked into his social-media accounts, shared his personal information, and texted threats and profanities to him and his children. As amateur traders banded together to push the stock higher, he closed out his position at a 100% loss and vowed to stop publishing short-selling reports.

Now, the founder of Citron Research is shorting GameStop once again. Keith Gill, who helped direct the world’s attention to GameStop a few years ago, re-emerged on X in May, sparking a trading frenzy in the stock. Left opened a new short position, covered it and made some money, he said. After Gill on Sunday shared a screenshot showing he owned five million shares of the company, Left shorted GameStop once more.


Left believes the current GameStop craze is in many ways more confounding than the previous one. GameStop is much more expensive than it was when it began soaring three years ago. At least back then, he said, there was hope the business could turn around. He doesn’t see an investment thesis now and, like many, has questions about how Gill built up such a big position in the stock and what his return might mean for GameStop. 

“It makes no sense,” Left said in an interview. “Everyone knows the stock’s extremely overvalued.”

This time, Left hasn’t made as big a bearish bet. He wouldn’t disclose the size of his current short position but said it comprises a small part of his overall portfolio.


He learned his lesson in 2021 about making large bets against meme stocks. 

“It’s a cult stock. You don’t do that on cult stocks,” Left said. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Left made a name for himself as a brash, foul-mouthed investor publishing reports on companies he claimed were overvalued or engaged in fraud. Short sellers borrow shares and sell them, betting the stock will fall so they can buy them back at a lower price and pocket the difference. But if a stock rises, short sellers lose money when they repurchase the stock at a higher price.

Who’s Roaring Kitty? The Man Driving GameStop Stock Up, Again.
Who’s Roaring Kitty? The Man Driving GameStop Stock Up, Again.
Who’s Roaring Kitty? The Man Driving GameStop Stock Up, Again. Play video: Who’s Roaring Kitty? The Man Driving GameStop Stock Up, Again.
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Keith Gill led hordes of individual investors into GameStop stock back in 2021. Then, he disappeared. Now, investors are all watching Gill for his next move once more. Here’s why. Photo: Kayana Szymczak for WSJ

A former high-school debater who grew up in a Miami suburb, Left began investing with money borrowed from a friend in 1995. He started a blog called stocklemon.com in 2001 and self-published scathing reports. When he lost much of his wealth in a divorce in 2007, he rebranded his blog as Citron Research.

He sounded the alarm on China Evergrande in 2012 and was banned from trading securities in Hong Kong for five years—but was proved right when the Chinese property developer collapsed years later. His 2015 report accusing Valeant Pharmaceuticals of fraudulent practices sank the stock. Companies have sued him for alleged defamation, and the Justice Department has investigated him in a wide-ranging examination of short sellers.



What do you think the future holds for GameStop? Join the conversation below.

All of the criticism that he was used to fielding as a short seller didn’t compare to the ire he drew in 2021 for his bet against GameStop. On online forums such as Reddit’s WallStreetBets, traders bragged about squeezing the shorts, beating up the big investors who control the market. Ironically, short sellers are a relatively fringe group of investors who generally eschew Wall Street.
他作为做空者习惯于面对的所有批评,都无法与他因押注反对 GameStop 而在 2021 年招致的愤怒相比。在 Reddit 的 WallStreetBets 等在线论坛上,交易者吹嘘如何挤压做空者,打击控制市场的大投资者。具有讽刺意味的是,做空者通常是一群相对边缘的投资者,他们通常避开华尔街。

“When we started Citron, it was to be against the establishment,” Left said in a 2021 YouTube video. “We’ve actually become the establishment.”

Many short sellers have pulled back in recent years, with stocks climbing to new highs and the potential for meme-stock traders to defy financial logic. Jim Chanos, the famed short seller who took on Enron and Tesla, last year shut down his hedge funds, telling The Wall Street Journal, “The marketplace for what I do has changed.”


Short interest in GameStop, or the portion of available shares sold short, picked up this year, but remains a fraction of 2021 highs, according to FactSet. With GameStop shares up around 80% this year, short sellers are sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars in losses on paper in 2024, according to S3 Partners analysis.

Gill’s return has sparked seesaw action in the stock. Shares of GameStop rose 19% on Wednesday and are up 36% this week.

Left believes the GameStop trading frenzy shows that the U.S. is a “nation of gamblers,” but he doesn’t think the market is broken.


“It’s just one stock. It’s an outlier,” he said. “At the end of the day, you have to respect the market.”

GameStop shares are up around 80% this year. Photo: Allison Dinner/EPA/Shutterstock

Matt Wirz contributed to this article.

Write to Hannah Miao at hannah.miao@wsj.com and Gregory Zuckerman at Gregory.Zuckerman@wsj.com


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Appeared in the June 6, 2024, print edition as 'GameStop Bear Returns Despite Losses'.