Market Manipulation Causes Takoma Park to Halt Purchasing of Co-Op Shares

TAKOMA PARK, MD – People trying to purchase membership shares of the TPSS Co-Op on Thursday were surprised to learn that trading had been halted by the City Council due to market manipulation of the local organic grocery store.

“How dare someone stop us from practicing free market capitalism?!” exclaimed Gerry Davidson, wearing a Bernie 2020 shirt. “I don’t know anything about investing, but if I want to put in a call to buy up all of the vegetable stock at this week’s short sale before the market closes, then that’s my right as a shareholder.”

The run on Co-Op shares began when hedge fund managers bet heavily on the position that the Co-Op will fail once the new development at the Takoma Junction parking lot is completed. In response, a Reddit-driven effort mobilized individual purchasers to snap up millions of Co-Op memberships, which include a $100 share in the company. The result was that a boutique food store for anti-capitalist hippies amassed a billion dollar windfall overnight, more than enough money to purchase the parking lot and derail the entire Junction development project.

“We were inspired by the massive stock purchases of Gamestop and AMC, which put hedge fund managers on notice,” read a post from the reddit group r/nimbybets. “Now developers have been similarly warned. If you threaten our access to fair-trade organic tofu, we’ll kill your real estate deal and make sure a shovel never hits the ground!”

It’s unclear if the Co-Op was directly involved in the share purchasing scheme, but members of the city council were unsurprised by the organization and dedication of opponents to the Junction development. “These people were already incredibly stubborn, even without money. Can you imagine what they’ll do with access to a billion dollars?” asked the Mayor. “At least we’ll be able to accuse them of being a bunch of paid shills.”

Due to the success of restoring a business on the edge of collapse to economic viability, it is rumored that a similar crowdsourced trading scheme will be attempted soon to resurrect some of Takoma Park’s treasured closed businesses, such as Video Americain and Polly Sue’s Vintage Clothing.