Investor Peter Boockvar is calling the Reddit rebellion “another epic parabolic bubble.”
“Let’s break down the investment strategy: Find the most shorted stocks, buy calls, write about it, buy the stocks and jam it higher,” the Bleakley Advisory Group chief investment officer told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Thursday.
The result: Prices significantly exceed the underlying value of the companies.
“They always end the same way, and that is a pop in that bubble and a crash right back to where the stock started from,” said Boockvar. “We’ve seen this in the history of markets. [In the] 1920s, they had these stock pools where people got together and manipulated stocks.”
He partly blames the Federal Reserve’s easy money policies for the spike in speculative activity. Boockvar acknowledges the Fed never intended to help investors get drunk on dangerous trades, but he sees a link between retail investors’ mass migration into the market and the speculative craze created on Reddit and other chat rooms.
“We have to understand that the purpose of essentially free money via zero rates and QE is to encourage risk taking,” Boockvar wrote in his note out. “It is meant to scare money out of a savings account, a CD and/or T-bill and into riskier assets. It thus encourages riskier behavior on purpose.”
Boockvar, a CNBC contributor, told “Trading Nation” last month optimism was touching dot-com-bubble euphoria levels. Now, he’s more worried many investors are in over their heads.
“You run the possibility that the money lost in retail is going to be the same or greater than any of the money lost in the hedge fund world,” Boockvar said.
Disclosure: Boockvar does not have positions in GameStop or American Airlines.