The stock market fell off a cliff when the coronavirus hit. Since the bottom, stocks raced up about 40%. One of the reasons for the buying frenzy is that Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Jerome Powell promised to non-stop print money to prop up the ponzi-scheme-ish stock market.
Another interesting driver of the sky-high stock valuations is the re-emergence of day traders. Seemingly out of nowhere, thousands of young people signed up for the Robinhood trading app and went wild. Enmasse, they’ve been piling into certain stocks sending them flying high. The newby traders are smoking the old-school investors and hedge fund bros.
Old-timey hedge fund billionaire Leon Cooperman—who’s now the stock market’s version of the cranky old guy yelling “get off my lawn”—has shaken his wrinkly fists and kvetched about Robinhood traders. In an interview with the CNBC financial porn site, Cooperman complained, “They are just doing stupid things, and in my opinion, this will end in tears.” Those young fakakta whippersnappers will lose everything.
Cooperman’s not all wrong. It’s always fun and games until someone gets hurt. There’s been a heartbreaking story making the rounds of Twitter. A young kid racked up $700K in debt by trading and committed suicide over it.
According to his uncle:
“This is still really raw and I have more questions than answers. But, it’s very important and intersects with what I speak about here. Hopefully my family’s tragedy can help another family avoid tragedy. My cousin in law was interested in investing. He opened a Robinhood account. And, he seemed to be enjoying the markets. As many of us do, or have done, he got interested in options. He believed he had “no margin” selected on his account. So, he began buying and selling options. Fast forward to sometime this past week and his account showed him owing $700k+. How does a 20 year old with no income get access to that kind of leverage/exposure?! The emotional stress from the exposure caused him to take his own life. I don’t feel right sharing this, but I also don’t feel right keeping it from the world.”
Speaking of losing, HSBC, the behemoth international bank, announced it will reignite its prior plan for a massive 35,000 job cut. The layoffs were originally slated to start back in February, but HSBC placed the layoffs on hold during the Covid-19 pandemic. In light of the current challenging business climate, coupled with falling profits, the bank claims that it has to act now to rein in costs. HSBC will also enact a firm-wide hiring freeze.
Noel Quinn, the bank’s chief executive officer, sent a memo to his 235,000 employees writing, “We could not pause the job losses indefinitely—it was always a question of ‘not if, but when.’” Quinn was forthright in stating, “You will have seen that our profits fell in the first quarter, and virtually all economic forecasts point to challenging times ahead.” The CEO somberly added that the layoffs, which were first planned for February, are “even more necessary today.” “
Now that you’re really depressed, here something else to feel even sh*ttier about. AT&T plans to cut more than 3,400 technician and clerical jobs across the country over the next few weeks and close over 250 store locations. The company is highly leveraged and desperately needs to cut costs. Also, in this Covid-19 world, nobody wants to go outside, enter a phone store with a bunch of strangers and then touch an iPhone that’s already been fondled by dozens of customers. They’d rather just buy it online from their couch while eating Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Similarly, Walmart is now looking to remove all cashiers from its stores. Amazon’s only real rival, is testing a new self-checkout, which will be the future of the company. The company claims that this is all about Covid-19 and tamping down on person-to-person interactions. The truth is that it’s most likely the unintended consequences of the push to increase the minimum wage.
Many companies are quickly putting new technology into place, fearing that the minimum wage plus expensive health insurance benefits will only go higher. It’s worth it to make an initial investment in tech and not have to worry about actual human beings. Technology doesn’t call in sick, take cigarette breaks or vacations. They don’t gossip, talk back to the boss, disappear for two-hour lunches and 45-minute bathroom breaks. Nor do robots surf porn on their phones when things are quiet.
This is really weird and wild. Federal authorities alleged criminal charges against six former employees of eBay (I didn’t even know that eBay was still alive). They were accused of sending live cockroaches and spiders, pornography, a bloody pigface mask, a preserved pig fetus and a funeral wreath, to a couple who were customers. See, this is yet another case for having robot workers. They’d never do something as childishly outrageous like this. The worst they’d do is have oil gun fights with each other when it’s super hot in August.
The U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said that the ex-eBay employees exacted revenge in a manner intended to torment, psychologically terrorize and intimidate the middle-aged couple.
If we don’t have enough to worry about, the U.S. is seeing a second wave of coronavirus cases, as it reopens its economy. The same, but more, is happening in Beijing. The Chinese capital on Wednesday canceled more than 60% of commercial flights and raised the alert level amid a new coronavirus outbreak. The website of the Communist Party’s Global Times said that 1,255 flights to and from the capital’s two major airports have been scrapped. Is this true or is the media trying to scare us into staying indoors and wearing masks?
Not only do you get really sick from this stupid virus, it could take away all your hard-earned money. A Seattle Covid-19 patient spent a month in the hospital. Michael Flor, 70, told the Seattle Times that he received a 181-page, $1.1 million hospital bill. Flor claimed it nearly gave him a heart attack. “I opened it and said ‘Holy [bleep]!’” he said.
Now, here’s something that will actually cheer you up. It’s a police stop that actually goes well.
My man was pulled over.
I needed this… pic.twitter.com/gAjkE5z8Fr
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) June 17, 2020