Even The Mormon Church Made Money On GameStop

UNITED STATES - 2013/01/01: View of Salt Lake Temple on Historic Temple Square in Downtown Salt Lake City in Utah, USA.
UNITED STATES - 2013/01/01: View of Salt Lake Temple on Historic Temple Square in Downtown Salt Lake City in Utah, USA.
Photo: Wolfgang Kaehler / Contributor (Getty Images)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (known to everyday people as the Mormons) made bank off the boom in GameStop stock earlier this year, new SEC filings reveal. The Church saw a gain of over 900% on stock owned through its secretive investment arm, Ensign Peak Advisors.

Advertisement

As Business Insider reports, Ensign Peak Advisors bought 46,000 shares of GameStop stock at the end of 2020. In January 2021, the floundering game retailer’s stock’s price rose and fell wildly thanks to the collective bizarrity of the internet. Ensign’s total investment jumped in value from $867,000 to $8,732,000 through that period. Ensign also invests in tech stock such as Tesla, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon. It’s also got some stock in entertainment ventures like Dave & Buster’s, Six Flags, and the WWE.

Ensign Peak Advisors is an investment manager for the Mormon church, which the Wall Street Journal reports amassed $100 billion in early 2020 while keeping its dealings private from business partners and Church members. According to WSJ, the fund gets its money in part through surplus tithes, or donations, to the Church, a fact that’s currently part of a lawsuit following a former portfolio manager blowing the whistle on the operation in 2019. Officials told the WSJ the fund is for the Church to maintain its work in the case of another 2008-style financial crisis, but it’s caused concern among some Mormons who saw their institution’s secretive wealth holdings as counter to the message of the Book of Mormon.

GameStop has brought us some delightful memes, the absurd names of redditors being explained to Congress, and a pet food tycoon taking the reins to try to revive the Funko Pop retailer. Now, we have the Mormons in on the action too. Who knows what’s next?

DISCUSSION

redfeather1985
Redfeather

I live and work in Salt Lake City. Currently there are four homelessness camps within three blocks of my office. One literally abuts with the back wall of the business I work at. It seems rather odd that a local “Charity Organization and Church run by devout “Christians” would allow such suffering when they have 100 Billion dollars. I’d expect them to, you know, practice what they supposedly believe in. In fact, the LDS church just announced more ostentatious temples to be built around the world... and yet when I talk to my Mormon friends they are insulted and put out by the suggestion that the Church is taking their money to enrich and aggrandize themselves, not to aid the people making up their ley members or those in need within their own capital city. I suppose the leadership would rather ignore the foundational philosophy of their “master” (as they refer to Christ) and keep raking in the dividends of money they didn’t earn.