Week InReview

Alexa and Siri can hear this hidden command. You can't.


"Over the past two years, researchers in China and the United States have begun demonstrating that they can send hidden commands that are undetectable to the human ear to Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant. Inside university labs, the researchers have been able to secretly activate the artificial intelligence systems on smartphones and smart speakers, making them dial phone numbers or open websites. In the wrong hands, the technology could be used to  unlock doors, wire money, or buy stuff online - simply with music playing over the radio."


Friday | May 11, 2018
Nothing - from rising rates to blowout earnings - has knocked the stock market out of its  tight range over the past two months. Theories abound, but it's all a bit of a mystery.  (Bloomberg Technology | May 9)

U.S. credit boom: red flag or investable asset?
A borrowing binge by companies has created a triple B investment grade debt bulge. The corporate debt market is becoming an ink blot test for many investors and analysts. Some see an attractive asset class, while others warn that the clock is ticking on the credit boom. (Financial Times | May 8)

U.S. derivatives regulator considers buyouts, extension of hiring freeze
Stuck with a flat budget, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) also asks other government agencies for help with its work: "We're holding this place together with duct tape." (The Wall Street Journal | May 8)

Jitters mount as loans from private equity continue to rise
Long lending boom will be a test of 'shadow' finance; credit funds have swollen in size after highly-regulated banks pushed to sidelines (Financial Times | May 7)

Court ruling aside, for now DOL will rely on fiduciary rule to govern investment advice
The Department of Labor says advisers must make good-faith compliance efforts to rely on exemptions (Investment News | May 7)
The Cyber Cafe
Cybersecurity news every Friday
6 cybersecurity experts share twitch-inducing pet peeves
Pet peeves in the technology industry, however, center around perceptions in the field. Misunderstandings about technology implementations, and just how much works goes into a project, can set off the most demure employee. In cybersecurity in particular, many annoyances focus on the misuse of words and industry lingo.

Hackers found using a new way to bypass Microsoft Office 365 Safe Links
Security researchers revealed a way around that some hacking groups have been found using in the wild to bypass a security feature of Microsoft Office 365, which is originally designed to protect users  from malware and phishing attacks.  

SEC not looking to file many cybersecurity cases, official says
The SEC isn't planning to make cybersecurity cases part of the "bread and butter" of its enforcement activity, despite its multimillion-dollar penalty against the former Yahoo! Inc. in a first-of-its-kind case in the space, a senior Securities and Exchange Commission official said May 9.
SEC publishes advice rule
Sets Aug. 7 comment deadline
(May 9) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission published a proposed rule package to establish a best-interest standard for brokers, disclosure requirements for brokers and investment advisers, and further clarity on a current fiduciary standard. The proposal totals nearly 1,000 pages in plain text and 277 pages in the Federal Register, is filled with questions, and is likely to generate hundreds of letters.
Binge reading disorder
Hand-curated, chosen with love
Inside the world's most elite (and secret) traders' club
The nameless group confers "a hunting license" that lets an investor sit at the "big boy table and make high-level trades not available to stupid amateurs."
 
Libor's an unkillable 'cockroach' because credit risk is no bug
The scandal-ridden London interbank offered rate, the peg for $370 trillion in financial products is supposed to be slowly ceding its crown as best of the benchmarks to the Secured Overnight Funding Rate, or SOFR.

Microsoft offers its employees support animals in a new "Cuddle Corner."
At their annual Build event for developers Microsoft gave show-goers fatigue relief by petting shaggy-maned miniature horses, fuzzy bunnies and what looked like a Golden Retriever.