20 Million Americans May Be Evicted, Robinhood Day Traders Are Getting Burned, Scandal-Plagued Wells Fargo Plans Thousands Of Layoffs And Our Collective Mental Health Is In Bad Shape—Other Than That, Everything’s Fine And Dandy!

20 Million Americans May Be Evicted, Robinhood Day Traders Are Getting Burned, Scandal-Plagued Wells Fargo Plans Thousands Of Layoffs And Our Collective Mental Health Is In Bad Shape—Other Than That, Everything’s Fine And Dandy!
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By Jack Kelly

In a neverending cascade of layoffs, scandal-plagued Wells Fargo is reportedly planning to cut thousands of jobs. A bank spokesperson said that tens of thousands of jobs will be eliminated since it’s too hard to make money when you’re not allowed to fleece your customers. 

Okay, the bank really didn’t say that. But it’s much more entertaining than the real reason—the firings will be executed due to the need to “dramatically reduce costs” in an effort to recover from the millions and millions and millions of dollars Wells Fargo spent on regulatory issues, legal costs, stage coaches and fines incurred because of the bank’s abusive sales practices in which they fleeced their clients. The spokesperson for the bank said that since the bank has 263,000 employees, a few thousand workers won’t be missed.

This isn’t Wells Fargo’s fault—or at least I don’t think it’s the bank’s fault—but there’s an anticipated tidal wave of evictions that will crash over renters and homeowners. During the beginning stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, rules were put in place to bar landlords and banks from evicting renters and homeowners for not paying their rent or mortgages. The government was worried that with millions of Americans out of work and not having any emergency funds to fall back upon, they wouldn’t be able to pay their bills and risk being tossed out on the streets. This time period is expiring soon. Now, there’s a real concern that there could be a lot of evictions. 

I don’t think our brilliant elected officials thought this one through. If a family didn’t have the money to pay a month’s rent and certainly didn’t have the funds to pay the next couple of months’ rent—how can they now magically come up with four months of back pay along with the current balance due?! The plan was only kicking the can down the road and forestalling the inevitable crises. We shouldn’t be shocked, as our dopey leaders are doing this with everything else too.

It’s predicted that more than 20 million people, or one-in-five of the 110 million Americans who live in households that rent, are at risk of eviction by the end of September, according to the Covid-19 Eviction Defense Project.  

Wall Street, however, is doing sort of okay. Trading and underwriting activities offered some much-needed revenue for the big Wall Street banks, although profits likely plunged because of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on lending. A big issue for banks, such as Citi, J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo, that have a large retail customer base is whether or not clients can repay their loans. If they can’t, that could hurt the banks’ bottom lines. Recently, the Federal Reserve put restrictions on the big banks, including the amount they could pay their shareholders in dividends and their ability to enact stock buybacks. The regulators feared that if borrowers couldn’t pay back their loans, the banks would need a ton of cash on hand to absorb the blow or else they may become insolvent.

A new study shows that economic downturn, including high unemployment rates, plummeting stock market values and housing crises, can further exacerbate negative mental health issues.  It may come as a surprise to some, if you force people to stay indoors for months at time, shut down restaurants, bars and clubs, take away their jobs, make them watch stupid shows on Netflix because all sports have been canceled and allow the mass media to instill fear and hate in us everyday, people will demonstrate some emotional and mental distress. 

This could lead, according to the report, to an increase in cases of depression, alcohol and drug abuse, self-harm and suicide. Whoever commissioned the study, please let me know the next time you’re conducting one. I could have easily told you this for a fraction of the price you paid to a bunch of nerdy graduate students.

There’s a weird phenomenon happening in a corner of Wall Street. Robinhood, a stock trading app, has garnered the attention of hordes of young people. Since a lot of them are working from home, lost their jobs, having nothing else to do, used to bet on sports (but need a new addiction) or are just following the awesome, hilarious antics of Davey DayTrader Global, they’ve set up trading accounts at Robinhood.

These folks are reviving the day trading trend that died out a while back. They’re basically rolling the dice and gambling all day long. One tragic case involved a young 20-something who thought he lost over $700,000 and committed suicide.

On Thursday, the New York Times reported that Richard Dobatse, a Navy medic in San Diego, lost $860,000. 

Dobatse was buying and selling stocks on Robinhood and funded his account with $15,000 in credit card advances. He twice took out  $30,000 home equity to feed his trading habit.

The New York Times said that earlier this year, Dobatse’s account had $1 million. Now, in freefall, the account is worth $6,956.

 Okay, enough with the bad news. How about we end the day with this

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