Melvin’s short squeeze

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The Adventures of Opco Boone, Legal Ace™

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Having been called out Boone and his new partner Graeber hasten to a strip mall on the outskirts of the city where their ex-colleague Melvin is holed up, barricaded in the GameStop premises. It’s in the old Blockbuster building. Melvin’s flagship fund vehicle — a twin-class 2/20 clipper out of Georgetown — is badly holed and leaking liquidity. He’s shipping fire from all sides but — weird — the conventional combatants’ artillery depots are all silent. Third Point, Icahn and Pershing Missile have actually sent down a peace-keeping detachment. Ackman is crying.

Boone: This must be some new kind of FWMD. A distributed denial of shortage attack.

Melvin wails, “I can’t see it! I can’t stop it! My models are on the Fritz!

Graeber murmurs, “Oh, but this is ... beautiful.”

Meanwhile Melvin’s position gets more untenable. GameStop seems to be rising out of the ground forced up from the depths of the earth by some collossal, demonic, monstrous force, as if the crust of the earth has been ruptured and a finger of rock is thrusting priaically into the heavens, with Melvin on it. It is horrifying. Seismic. Not possible. People shriek,“jump, Melvin, jump,”

“Yeah, jump, Melvin!” Graeber cries demonically.

At first he won’t — he doesn’t believe — and by the time he does it is too late. He frantically calls for help but the messages become weak and static-laden.

Graeber: “Go on, jump!”

Palmer: “Graeberrrr! Get back here!”

But Graeber has gone. He is running feverishly across the plain towards the hordes of barbarians shouting and weaving his arms.

Boone says, “what the hell is he doing!? They’ll kill him!”

“Only if I don’t get to him first,” muttered Palmer, and started firing on him.

Boone says, wait. There are unusual things happening here. This could be

“More margin. I need more margin ammunition... I can hold this: i just need more ammo.”

But the supply line is stretched. The investor network is crumbling. Repo counterparts are bailing, wheeling round their massive margin cannons. Boone looked across the deserted badlands behind Melvin’s encampment. Lines of dust and haze rise in the setting sun as investors retreat. He can see low flying ISDA attack helicopters flying in. At the same time there is a grinding metallic groan which he realised is the sound of Melvin closing its collossal rusting redemption gates. The attack copters open fire. “Jesus,” he breathes. “This ain’t going to be pretty.”

But one stays, and lumbers ever closer. A massive earthmoving excavator in the battle markings of The Citadel, and starts boring a massive subterranean channel towards Melvin’s position. Boone, “he can’t. Surely. This is suicide. The sacrifice of a perfectly valuable war unit. There’s no way they can hold out.” Still the relentless needlepricks of pain, from all across the plateau. From everywhere. There’s no coordinated source. Then J-rod spots it. The ordnance all bears the blast signature of the same broker.

Not far from them, on a bluff, the field commander from the Robinhood might infantry piece keeping force is asleep.

J-Rod kicks him out of the hammock. He falls with a hump.

“What? What?”

J-Rod barks, “you have to stop your supply”, but the field commander blows her off. “Ain't my problem, brah.”


“I’m strictly retail. Nothing to do with me. I look after the little guys. Don't get involved with your big boy stuff. Soz. Now if you don’t mind —”

This is retail. Look.

The thin golden miasma of tiny energy bolts, all weirdly, spookily trained on this one thin finger of rock, defying any of the usually safe random distributions you'd expect from the retail horde. It was if everyone molecule in a soup jumped two inches to the left. Theoretically possible but the odds against it astronomical.

“Yeah, I guess that is pretty weird. But look, what do you want me to do? What can I do?” i’m an agent. A facilitator. Punters get execution. How they execute is not my look out. claims he can’t control it. “my, er, terms of service...” his voice trails off.

Behind them another massive citadel earthmover pulls up.

“Hey Jerry!” Robin looks pleased to see him. But the citadel unit CO has a grim look on his face. Bobby, we got to sit this down, man.


“You heard me. Shut it down”.

Bobby Hood seems taken back. But it's —

“Shut it down, Bob.”

“I already told them. I can’t. I couldn't if I wanted to.”

“Really, Bob?”

“Sure, Jerry.”

The commander motions to the fixed line PFOF firehoses, flooding Robinhood’s revenue tanks. “Bob, we been friends a long time. It would be a hell of a shame if, ahh, that payment for orderflow supply were cut iff.”

Bob blinked in disbelief. His jaw worked. “Wha —? You couldn’t. You wouldn’t. ”

The commander lifts up one of the pipes in his bare hands and folds it, cutting off the flow. “jesus! Wait!, Robinhood wails, “But these are your orders!” Citadel nukes one of the hoses. “What?! Jesus! Oh, I think our er KYC, er capital position, um market stabilisation ah orderly market um spacetime continuum... we’ll need to close down open interest and only allow position closure —”. “aim pleased we could see sense ” growled the citadel commander. “I am pleased we ... Understand each other.” He uncrimped the hose and the PFOF taps began to reflow. Robinhood collapsed in a torrent of reverential relief and starts humping and gorging on the outflow.