In a letter to his investors, David Einhorn, founder of the hedge fund Greenlight Capital, complained that the stock market was in a state of “quasi anarchy.” As an example, he cited a restaurant in rural New Jersey called Your Hometown Deli, which despite making $13,976 in revenue last year had attained a value of $113 million on the stock market.
Soon, the story caught fire. The deli was featured in the Financial Times, The New Yorker, The New York Post and on NPR. “Your Hometown Deli in Paulsboro, N.J., was just an unassuming sandwich stop,” CBS News reported. “Now it’s a Wall Street mystery.”
These types of financial enigmas have reached near ubiquity during the pandemic. But Your Hometown Deli was uniquely hard to explain. Had someone made it climb? Was the situation an accident, or intentional? And if had been done intentionally — why?
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Additional production for The Sunday Read was contributed by Emma Kehlbeck, Parin Behrooz, Carson Leigh Brown, Anna Diamond, Elena Hecht, Desiree Ibekwe, Tanya Perez, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Margaret Willison and Kate Winslett. Special thanks to Mike Benoist, Sam Dolnick, Laura Kim, Julia Simon, Lisa Tobin, Blake Wilson and Ryan Wegner.