Hello Reddit, it’s me Jon Stewart. You know me. I’m Adam Sandler’s friend from Big Daddy. Or maybe you know me from the popcorn gif, which according to leading internet historians, comes from something called The Daily Show which I allegedly hosted for 16 years (but the popcorn gif is the only remaining proof). Now I host The Problem with Jon Stewart on Apple TV And sometimes I go to Congress and try to shame elected officials into showing a baseline of humanity. Today we’re discussing the problem with the Stock Market…Ask me anything!!

PROOF: https://i.redd.it/kq21choogul81.jpg


Thank you all so much for having me today. I hope the early confusion didn’t take away from your enjoyment. Really appreciate your thoughtful questions. See you in my sub-subreddit, r/OldJewsThatUsedToHostDailyShows (also the name of my new crypto token).

Comments: 5952 • Responses: 26  • Date: 

JonStewart14682 karma

By the way, to no particular question:

Yes, I have done it on weed.

JonStewart6574 karma

Hey Reddit! This is Jon Stewart. Thank you so much for the opportunity to join you today. I don’t pretend to understand the nuances between the different Wall Street communities here and I’m certainly not an expert in the intricacies of trading but I am a firm believer in clear, fairer, more transparent markets. I imagine I’ll get more out of this today than you all will but I welcome the chance to have the discussion and hopefully whatever animosities exist in these communities that have made a group discussion here impossible, will be minimized towards this higher goal. But if not, know I’ll be watching with my very own eating popcorn GIF.

DaEagle073210 karma


Jon, you closed out your podcast with saying that they’re counting on us losing our stamina, but that our strength and tenacity is “evolving”. You yourself have evolved through your career, and your new show “The Problem” is proof of your evolution and advocacy.

We’ve played the game. Won some, lost some. We’ve done the due diligence. Tried different ways. I’m a firm believer of direct registration of shares (DRS) but ultimately think it’s up to lawmakers to make the system serve Main Street instead of Wall Street.

Your experience fighting for the 9/11 First Responders Fund shows us how arduous the process can be. Wall Street lobbyist have first mover and home court advantage. How can we evolve into something that can substantiate change? (Better answer than “go vote”)

Do you see this as a slow fight? Or do you see the systemic risk we’ve uncovered leading to a collapse and something else (decentralized finance) taking its place?

To the moon!

Image Credit to u/relatable_yak

JonStewart4106 karma

Like I was saying to u/ButtFarm69, as the great Dr. King said, the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. What they don’t tell you is there will be very powerful forces trying to bend it back. Even incremental change in a positive direction for a fairer market is arduous but worthwhile. Building those coalitions and having the clarity of vision and tenacity of temperament to see them through is an enormous challenge. So when I say stamina, I don’t mean investing strategies. I mean the larger goal of creating a free market system that is more efficient at generating wealth at all levels, not just the top, and minimizing the collateral damage for those caught in its wake, not just a protection racket for those whose carelessness creates so much of the hazard. What you guys are doing is brilliant and important and fragile. Your voices, the voices of the average investor, have shifted the conversation in positive ways. Don’t let the institutions speak for you. Looking forward to seeing what happens next!

pinkcatsonacid563 karma

Unity between these communities would be ideal. This is bigger than any subreddit. Thank you, Jon for doing all you've done to tell this story!

JonStewart1854 karma

One of the most difficult obstacles to overcome when passionate people organize to make change is how easy it becomes to divide them. I’ve been in too many of these fights where we lose efficacy over intramural purity tests. By the way, intramural purity test is the name of my new crypto token.

JonStewart5669 karma

Thank you all so much for having me today. I hope the early confusion didn’t take away from your enjoyment. Really appreciate your thoughtful questions. See you in my sub-subreddit, r/OldJewsThatUsedToHostDailyShows (also the name of my new crypto token).

mnbuckeye873907 karma

What was the most shocking thing you learned in the making of your most recent episode on hedge funds, GameStop, etc?

JonStewart8080 karma

At the heart of our so-called free market capitalist system, is a process rife with conflict of interest, poor transparency, and lack of competition. And that it took like 20 years for anyone to figure out Bernie Madoff was fucking with them and then ultimately he’s the one who turned himself in.

Coppersealio3479 karma

do you think that people in congress should be banned from trading stock? if so, why do you think it took them this long to pass it?

JonStewart8423 karma

I don’t think they should be banned from holding index funds and the like, but they shouldn’t be buying and trading individual stocks.

ButtFarm693360 karma

Jon, you said that when you went to Congress about helping the victims of the Burn Pits, they recommended you get together with veteran's advocates and write the laws and they'd get them passed.

So my question to you, if we were to boil it down to the simplest terms, would you say that the most effective thing the Apes can do is get together, write some laws, and then give those laws to members of congress and get them passed?

(Doing some research right now. This is what a law looks like! This is the one that Jon helped pass to help the 9/11 First Responders. I'm too fucking high to understand what the fuck I'm reading lmayo but I am confident that out of EVERYONE who is in this financial fight with us, there's gotta be at least a couple people who have the ability to read and write laws? Or at least can learn how?)

JonStewart5154 karma

First of all, let me say - surprisingly nuanced question from “ButtFarm69.” Thought this would go a different way. I think the best strategy for an activist community is to specifically diagnose the corruption or harm they wish to address, then deconstruct as simplistically as you can specific ways to address those things. It sounds basic, but the inability to articulate goals quickly and simply is the death of many well-intended movements. Also, and this speaks again to fighting within movements, don’t negotiate against yourselves. They are counting on it.

sweeps19112957 karma

Jon, you covered the market crash in 08 exceptionally especially when Cramer went on the air with you. When you look at how the market reacted after that do you think Dodd Frank went far enough or do you think the market could be regulated better? What would you like to see done to prevent a future foolish market collapse?

JonStewart5903 karma

I’m a bit of a Glass-Steagall fetishist myself. Yeaaaaah baby. Separate my business practices, baby. I’ve been a baaaaaad lender and speculator. The ideas behind Dodd-Frank were well-intentioned and some of the practices of collateralization and not being so over leveraged worked well, but it wasn’t a thousand pages because poor people and the regular investors who had been so hurt in the 2008 collapse wanted more complexity. This shit has to be simplified if we’re going to get more transparent and efficient markets and have a better handle on boom and bust. Also, there was no individual accountability for those that very clearly and very purposefully defrauded investors and the economy.

polarseltzerlimited2624 karma

How do you keep from getting emotionally overwhelmed with all of the depressing, complicated stuff you cover?

JonStewart5784 karma

If you are able to figure that out, please let me know. I will say there are certain gummies that help.

brittalaneh2245 karma

How can we stop the stock market from being the benchline for how well the economy is doing and start making it be employee wages and quality of life? Shareholders don’t produce value, employees do.

JonStewart3419 karma

Power to the People, Mother Fuckers! Let’s do this! I feel like for the longest time this country has treated capital better than labor. It would be a huge plus if the country could swing that pendulum back a little bit.

millertime12161778 karma

Jon, our best tool to bring to light the extensive abuse of illegal naked short selling is DRS(Direct Registration System). Since 90% of GME holders aren't on Reddit, it's imperative we get the message of DRS out to the masses. What’s the most effective way for us to inform the masses of people outside of Reddit about the benefits of the secret weapon of DRS?

Please look at this KEY updated graphic: https://imgur.com/a/owc4qKE

JonStewart2662 karma

In theory it seems like a really smart way to circumvent the Wall Street shorting system and to bring some much needed simplicity and order. Because I am not a financial adviser, that is a purely intuitive answer on my part. I have found the best way to inform the masses remains, as it always has been, the sponsored blimp.

SoggyChickenWaffles1542 karma

Do you think a bigger culture change would have occurred on Wall Street if any perpetrators of the 2008 collapse were put in jail?

JonStewart3171 karma

Great question! As Kanye said, while accepting his Grammy, “I guess we’ll never know.” But it’s clear that the lack of individual accountability that comes from no criminal process for clear fraudulent actions and organizational fines that make not a dent in total bottom line, are a recipe for, as the kids would say, “moral hazard.” Which by the way is the name of my new crypto token.

I_Think_Im_Lost_1538 karma

How do you and your staff decide what topics you want to cover on your show?

JonStewart4313 karma

It generally begins like Festivus with an airing of the grievances. We try to separate personal pet peeves from systemic fuckery. And then and I cannot stress this enough you’re going to need index cards.

swolecoder1512 karma

How do you keep your composure when you interview someone that you know is full of shit?

JonStewart2672 karma

Great question. I find that I don’t.

LovecraftInDC1005 karma

After speaking with leadership at the SEC, do you get the impression that anyone is taking this issue seriously, or is it as bad as it seemed in the interview? Are there other influential government leaders already onboard? I guess I'm asking, as a voter/donor , how can I start to fix this shit?

Also, on a personal note, how are you doing? Trump was hard on all of us, and my wife and I thought of you often between your appearances with Stephen.

JonStewart2163 karma

I do think the SEC takes it seriously but I believe they may suffer from a bit of institutional thinking and are limited somewhat in what they can do. They are definitely fucking outgunned and probably haven’t figured out how to attack the issue asymmetrically. They don’t play offense and because of the revolving door, are probably doing the best work at training future Wall Street folks to evade regulation. I don’t know if you know this but the money is better there.

And how am I doing? What’s with the gotcha shit? I knew this AMA would brutal

jango_bets546 karma

What do you think of the media's coverage of GameStop in regards to short selling?

JonStewart1435 karma

Look, I like my news like I like my coffee, with a tremendous amount of condescension. Any disruptive movement of proles shaking up the status quo, you have to remember the financial media are in many ways more aligned with the interests they cover. The GameStop movement was always going to be viewed through the lens of it being an oddity, even without all the jizz memes.

NotForrestGump486 karma

Hi Jon! Long time big fan of yours, hoping to use comedy to comment on Politics myself so you’re a legend!

In regards to the market, it seems as retail investors get more involved, old market makers will try to make it difficult on them and shake them off like a bull.

Where do you see this relationship between retail and institutional buyers ending up?

My worry is it’s a weird tug of war that either results in Institutions beating retail into submission, or retail makes institutions accept they’re not in charge any more which I’m guessing the institutions would not take well.

Do you think the stock market will ever be a truly retail-centric model? Or is that an impossible idea?

JonStewart1205 karma

Yes. You are correct to worry. Disrupting the status quo is never without turbulence but you have every right to the same information, technology, and greedy motives that they have. I also think the issue is sometimes not institutional vs. retail, but middle men vs. the democratization of the system. One of the best ways to make yourself seem necessary is to create unnecessary complexity. I do it at home with my family.

miseryenplace414 karma

Hi Jon, great that you're doing this. Thank you very much.

My question:

Your first ever tweet was a comment on the GME/meme stock situation. Was it this situation that motivated you to join twitter and add your voice to the discussion? Why? How long had you been following the story? Have you been lurking in related reddit groups for a while or did you first hear about these goings on via press coverage/other sources.

JonStewart1097 karma

I did not join Twitter because of GME. I joined because the pandemic so fucked my mind, I thought it was a good idea. I was taken with the GME story because I thought it was an ingenious judo move on a system where even its simplest mechanics can get twisted and taken advantage of by those most “in the know.” And I thought it exposed a real serious flaw.

Aethelwitha373 karma

Wondering why you don’t do a show on whistleblowers? All the problems you cover were often exposed by whistleblowers. And whistleblowers are the one thing Congress agrees on-loudly proclaim them heroes, but don’t fix the system that destroys them.

JonStewart585 karma

As we’ve seen many times throughout history - one man’s whistleblower is another man’s spy and saboteur. Daniel Ellsberg is seen as a hero, Reality Winner was jailed.

shotofpatron342 karma

Is the stock market a necessary evil, considering how the American retirement system has been privatized?

JonStewart810 karma

I have no problem with a system that allows individuals to support corporations and reap financial benefit. I have a problem with the perversion and corruption of said system. I am also just generally not a fan of tickers. It knows what it did.

Briguy24290 karma


Sorry to hear you have a problem.

I've been a long-time fan of your work, the Enron call to Grandma Millie stands out, and I just wanted to sincerely thank you and your team for digging into this manipulation and fraudulent trading.

I think most people not involved directly are not aware that their pension is essential gambling money for these asshats. My wife watched your last show with me and the Gaming Wall St Documentary that just came out. She was floored. I have been invested in GameStop since 1/12/21 and have tried to explain the important bits as I learned them but your team put it all together so well coupled with the Gaming Wall St documentary.

If you make another show or podcast can you please bring awareness to how innocent everyday people are being taken advantage of so openly?


Thank you to Jon and your Problems!

JonStewart477 karma

Yea pension funds are a huge deal. It’s important to remember investing isn’t just the direct-to-market model like Robinhood and E*Trade. If you have a pension fund, those are often traded by Wall Street and subject to the same shenanigans and ups and downs, you just might not be aware of it. The only thing that’s protected are the fees.

PosterMcPoster218 karma

Jon, do you and your brother, who served as NYSE COO , share the same sentiment about the APES and our current markets?

JonStewart573 karma

While my brother clearly has a more experienced and nuanced view, I think we both agree that the goal is more transparent, efficient, and fair markets. We also agree that I was just at Mom’s house and it’s his turn to go, and that he should not forget to bring Zucker’s.

fenikz1352 karma

If you were a muffin what type of muffin would you be?

JonStewart136 karma

A muffin top.