On May 23, car rental company Hertz filed for bankruptcy. Drowning in a $24 billion sea of debt and walloped by the coronavirus, the 102-year-old company threw in the towel and began the process of negotiating partial repayment of creditors. The stock, now essentially worthless, traded down to 59 cents and hovered below a buck until something weird happened. An army of amateur speculators got on their smartphones and started buying the shares, juicing the price nearly tenfold to $5.50. The move was so stunning and comically irrational that the bankrupt company decided to offer an additional $500 million of the stuff to these novice traders complete with the requisite warning: "We expect that common stock holders would not receive a recovery."
Welcome to the new dot com bubble, now known as the "Robinhood Market."