Robin Williams, Depression and the Markets


Welcome to CrushTheStreet.com’s Weekly Market
Wrap-up. My name is Joshua Enomoto and I’m sitting in for Kenneth Ameduri who is away
on business. The big news item for this week is the tragic passing of stand-up comedian
and Academy Award winning actor, Robin Williams, who was found dead in his Northern California
home on August 11th after an apparent self-asphyxiation. Mr. Williams was only 63 years old, leaving
behind his wife and three children. An outpouring of support from both celebrities and the general
public overwhelmed mainstream and social media outlets throughout the week, with the late
actor having impacted countless numbers of people across multiple generations.
As was known for quite some time within his inner circle, Mr. Williams suffered from debilitating
depression, and a few months prior to his death, he had admitted himself into the Hazelden
Foundation Addiction Treatment Center for continued therapy related to his alcoholism.
Mr. Williams’ affliction from the disease prompts a holistic discussion regarding the
definition of wealth, since it is painfully clear that monetary means does not exempt
inner turmoil. It also highlights the very real cost of depression
and other mental impairments upon society and the macro-economy. According to a report
from the World Health Organization, over 350 million people around the world suffer from
depression. In Canada, roughly 20-percent of adults will suffer from a form of mental
disorder at some point in their lives. With such large numbers affected by this hidden
and often stigmatized disease, the cost of treatment goes far beyond personal medical
bills. According to the Toronto-based Centre for
Addictions and Mental Health, patients suffering from depression cost the Canadian economy
more than $51 billion dollars a year, with one-third of that due to lost productivity.
Studies show that depressed workers lose about 5-and-a-half hours of productive work each
week, and that people exhibiting symptoms of depression are over twice as likely to
call in sick. The same report also found that children or adults who suffer from depression
absorb a 35-percent decrease in lifetime income. Over time, such collective inefficiencies
extract a heavy toll on the economy and it typically exacerbates or catalyzes criminal
or disruptive behavior, such as the aforementioned alcoholism suffered by Mr. Williams. Since
2002, the United States, according to the Population Reference Bureau, has had the highest
incarceration rate in the world and this problem is further fueled by a breakdown in social
mores and the criminalization of petty crimes. In order for the U.S. and the rest of the
international community to solve its vast economic crises, they must stop relying purely
on monetary policies and look inwardly to grassroots solutions. Much good could be done
by lessening the tax burden towards middle-class families and keeping government out of our
homes, allowing individual families a better chance to thrive and hopefully stem the growing
epidemic of mental disorder. Over in financial news, the broad indices
secured modest gains on Thursday after a tepid performance earlier in the week, with the
Dow Jones adding 62 points. The precious metals complex slogged through a slow week, with
gold holding onto the $1,300 dollar threshold, while silver is just below the $20 dollar
level. Palladium, on the other hand, scored seven consecutive up-days, closing Thursday’s
session at 885 on the ask. Finally, bitcoin was under pressure all week as it dropped
out of its trading range, with the digital currency at last close holding at 508 dollars.
And that will do it for this edition. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next week!

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Comments

  1. Depression medication can effect people in different ways withdraw even while taking these medications happen,it can have deadly side effect not just for yourself but can cause one to become violent towards others,Look up Dr Peter Bregins who has studied this subject for many years.

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