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R/WallStreetBets Are Trying to Squeeze Silver. But Are They Aware of What Happened in the Past?

R/WallStreetBets' next target appears to be silver. They want all of their followers to buy into silver so they can squeeze the silver market as they did with GameStop ($GME). In the 1980s, however, the Hunt Brothers attempted the same. They managed to spike silver shares to $50 apiece. It eventually collapsed, and the Hunt Brothers lost millions of dollars.

silver bars

But, let's start with silver.

Silver is a commodity that is subject to supply and demand. It's being extracted from the earth by huge mining companies all the time. The production is very consistent. Most of these mining companies have their own hedging programs. When the price of silver goes up, as it most certainly will, if there is an attempt to squeeze it, they will forward sell their production.

So, technically, these mining companies will be "shorting" silver. But in reality, mining companies will be able to mine enough silver that the short is eventually covered. The mining companies' risk is that if silver's price got too crazy, they might not hold the margin requirements, and mining companies could be forced to cover their hedge.

The silver market is probably too big for retail buyers to try to squeeze the shorts. There is just too much supply! The mining companies are most likely encouraging r/wallstreetbets to push the price higher so they can take advantage and sell a portion of their silver production. In the end, the mining companies will win, and the shareholders of the mining companies will be pleased.

Where will these retail buyers get the money to jump into their next play, squeezing silver? Money is not endless--it has to come from somewhere. They'll most likely try to sell off their $GME, $AMC, and $KOSS positions to acquire money for this next move. We can already see that in the price of these three stocks as they begin to trade lower.

This WSB strategy will not end well for most of these retail buyers.


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