Shorting and Distorting: The Columbia Professor Who Predicted GameStop – Joshua Mitts
Join Columbia Law School Associate Professor and Milton Handler Fellow, Joshua Mitts, as he discusses his research, the impact of GameStop and what the future holds for Wall Street and stock shorting.
January’s sudden rise in the stock price of nearly defunct company, GameStop, caught many off guard but exposed aspects of the securities industry that had gone largely unnoticed by the media and American public. The public was shown the impact of stock shorting and how a concentrated social media effort could impact Wall Street’s shorting impact.
Professor Joshua Mitts was not caught off guard. In a 2019 paper, Professor Mitts predicted what would happen with GameStop and how social media efforts could dramatically change the practice of short selling and impact hedge funds.
Professor Joshua Mitts
Ph.D. in Finance and Economics, Columbia Business School, 2018
J.D. Yale University, 2013
B.A. in Liberal Studies Georgetown University, 2010
Joshua Mitts, who joined the faculty in 2017, uses advanced data science for his research on corporate and securities law. His primary focus is on information disclosure in capital markets, consumer financial protection, and related topics in law and finance. Mitts employs empirical methods, including statistical analysis and machine learning, for his research on short-selling, informed trading on cybersecurity breaches, information leakage and hedge-fund activism, insider trading on corporate disclosure, and information transmission in financial markets.
Mitts’s interest in data science dates back to high school when he won the Microsoft Windows Forms Coding Hero Award for developing software for the Microsoft .NET platform. To help practitioners and scholars better communicate with software engineers, he introduced the course Data and Predictive Coding for Lawyers to the Law School curriculum. He taught at the Columbia Law Summer Program in American Law in Amsterdam in 2019.
Mitts frequently speaks at conferences, symposiums, and workshops. He recently presented a new paper, “A Legal Perspective on Technology and the Capital Markets: Social Media, Short Activism and the Algorithmic Revolution,” at the New Special Study of the Securities Markets/FINRA Technology Conference hosted by the Columbia Law School Program in the Law and Economics of Capital Markets, where he is a fellow. Mitts is also a member of the Center for Financial and Business Analytics at Columbia University’s Data Science Institute.