Although they won't be counted in time to be reflected in the pre-election day jobs numbers, the last batch of which is set to be released on Friday, a flurry of corporate layoffs in recent days has offered the latest reminder that for millions of Americans, the "K" shaped recovery described by Chris Wallace last night is a reality for working people.
The layoff wave continued Wednesday morning with Shell and Continental announcing thousands of layoffs, and continued into the afternoon as Goldman Sachs announced that it, too, would soon move along with some layoffs that had purportedly been planned before COVID-19.
Shareholders might remember that Goldman CEO David Solomon has been doing a top-to-bottom review of the bank. Presumably, the roughly 400 positions (1% of its workforce) being eliminated are part of Solomon's vision to make the bank a more consumer-focused, tech savvy institution (basically, it's firing investment bankers and hiring more coders).
Bloomberg notes that the cuts come despite the fact that the bank's traditional dealmaking and trading businesses are "booming".
Goldman is hardly alone. In the US, Wells Fargo and Citigroup were among the first to restart their planned cuts. In Europe, Deutsche Bank is moving ahead with the biggest Wall Street cull since Lehman. Solomon acknowledged the cuts over the summer, saying he would resume the cuts "for the good of our shareholders".
The bank was already facing immense pressure to lower costs before the coronavirus was declared a global pandemic.
"At the outbreak of the pandemic, the firm announced that it would suspend any job reductions," said Pat Scanlan, a spokesman for New York-based Goldman Sachs. "The firm has made a decision to move forward with a modest number of layoffs."
Hopefully, the Goldman traders who got COVID-19 wont' see their positions included in the cull - though, right now, they're probably making too much money for the firm to risk cutting lose. Then again, it doesn't exactly take a genius to reap a major windfall trading options in this market.