Financial memefication is evolving from a niche corner to grow deep roots in markets.
Narratives matter and have always mattered enormously to markets. Nobel laureate Robert Shiller has even written a book on how the stories we tell ourselves can shape economic ebbs and flows. But over the past year, a condensed, modern form of narrative — the internet meme — has grown deep roots in markets and evolved from attempting to capture reality to actually helping distort it.
Memes are easily-digestible and shareable images or videos, often in the form of a snapshot from popular culture, tweaked with custom captions to send myriad messages, from amusing self-deprecation to arch political commentary.
It may seem ludicrous, but financial memes can arguably shape perceptions just like verbose investment bank reports or newspaper opinion pieces. Arguably more so among younger generations with less patience for long-winded, staid traditional news and analysis. If a meme spreads, it can have a sizeable impact at a time when retail trading is a rising force in markets.
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