Organized Noise

Organized Noise

In market microstructure, noise traders are traditionally participants who when interacting with a market maker do not (or "should" not) inform prices at all. Traditionally retail investors would fit this category - hence lots of the "LOL" happening around $GME (and this morning, $AMC). On the other hand, informed traders are participants who when interacting with a market maker do or "should" inform prices. Traditionally they are buy side investors, aka Serious People.

The result of such a way of thinking leads to an obvious bias - "money is information." One could say that this infers that markets treat information as capital and noise as labor, in a classical sense. I'll run with this metaphor.

When money and/or information is abundant and flowing freely, weird things happen. In the 90's we saw a bubble form and pop. This bubble had a very "capitalistic" information regime. The sell side controlled information to their advantage, resulting in somewhat of a honey pot for noise traders.

What we're seeing with GameStop and r/WallStreetBets is something different. I call it "Organized Noise". We have what is traditionally a set of traders that the market treats as "noise" organizing to create something that the market treats as "information" - no different than organized labor, or unions. To make matters worse since markets are reflexive, the more they are treated as "information" the more they actually individually become "information" in both the individual and collective. In short, they now have power because collectively they have money, regardless of the noise of any individual.

Under this lens of "organized labor", we're witnessing  a unionization of sorts. If I took myself more seriously, I'd call it a "Marxist market uprising", but I don't. While I don't think it will last at this magnitude, it will certainly stick in some way and potentially alter the way prices absorb information. Whether this is for the better or worse - well that depends on your market politics (or religion).