Week InReview
Friday | Jul 29, 2022
Face time.
US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping told aides to plan an in-person meeting during a 2-hour call Thursday, which would be the first face-to-face between the men since Biden became president. During the conversation, the leaders warned one another about rising risks of a confrontation over Taiwan — Biden reiterated the US ‘One China’ policy, but warned Xi against military action to reunify the mainland and the island. Xi told Biden that China will “resolutely safeguard China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity” and that “whoever plays with fire will get burnt.” Tensions over Taiwan have been exacerbated by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s possible plans to visit the island. Pelosi is set to leave for an Asia-Pacific region trip Friday, but it’s still unclear whether it will include Taiwan.
let's recap...
Photo: Shutterstock
The dollar, the currency that powers global trade, is on a tear that has few parallels in modern history. Its ascent is the result primarily of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate-hiking – it raised by another 75 basis points on Wednesday – and has left a trail of devastation: Driving up the cost of food imports and deepening poverty across much of the world, fueling a debt default and toppling a government in Sri Lanka, and heaping losses on stock and bond investors in financial capitals everywhere. (Bloomberg Business | The Big Take | Jul 27)

Not convinced by central banks' pledge to stamp on inflation, many investors are on the hunt for assets that will protect their portfolios from years of decline in the value of money. These funds are buying up inflation-linked bonds and real estate, while also taking long-term bets on the outperformance of stocks, including those in industries like timber and farmland. (Reuters | Jul 27)

China tried to build a network of informants inside the Federal Reserve system, at one point threatening to imprison a Fed economist during a trip to Shanghai unless he agreed to provide nonpublic economic data, a congressional investigation found. (The Wall Street Journal | Jul 27)

An SEC whistleblower program designed to prevent another Bernie Madoff-type scandal often ignores its own rules, shields much of its work from the public, and has been a financial boon for law firms that hired former agency officials, a Bloomberg Law investigation has found. (Bloomberg Politics | Jul 26)

The IMF has slashed its global growth forecasts and raised its projections for inflation, warning that the risks to the economic outlook are “overwhelmingly tilted to the downside.” The downgraded estimates, released on Tuesday, come as the world grapples with the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, prolonged disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and rapidly tightening financial conditions, with central banks seeking to contain soaring prices. (Financial Times | Jul 26)
FSOC meets on digital assets, hedge fund and climate-related risk
(Jul 28) — The US Financial Stability Oversight Council met on Thursday and said it expects to release in early fall a report on ensuring responsible development of digital assets, according to a Treasury Department readout of the council’s meeting. 
  • The Hedge Fund Working Group made progress in developing a risk-monitoring framework to inform the Council’s assessment of current and emerging risks to financial stability related to hedge fund activities
  • The Climate-related Financial Risk Committee made its first update to the committee on efforts to identify and assess climate-related financial risk

the cyber cafe
CrowdStrike warns about callback phishing attacks impersonating cybersecurity companies
CrowdStrike Intelligence team discovered a hacking campaign involving threat actors impersonating reputable cybersecurity companies to execute phishing attacks. The attackers sent professional emails informing the target that they identified potential network compromise during their routine audit. They included a number the recipient should call to discuss the situation and provide additional information to resolve the problem.

Your home address is a search away
When you type your name into a search engine, you typically expect to see links to your social-media profiles or personal websites. But you might also find your home address, email, phone number, the names of relatives and more. For many, this boon of publicly available personal information is upsetting simply because we want some level of privacy. For others, there is a concern that people can take advantage of these bits of free-floating information. Here's how you can remove some of the easiest-to-find data.

US, Israel announce ‘BIRD’ cybersecurity joint program
The BIRD Cyber project calls on US and Israeli companies, universities and research institutions to develop technologies critical to preserving cybersecurity and threats to critical infrastructure.
binge reading disorder
Illustration: Dana Davis | NYT
Incognito mode isn't as incognito as you might think
Private browsing (aka incognito mode) is a great way to prevent your web browser from saving what you do. But to call it privacy-focused is a stretch, and while your browser or device doesn’t log your movements in its history and cookies, that doesn’t mean the sites you visit don’t clock your behavior. Despite its name, you’re not really incognito, and you may want to dial back your confidence in what these modes really do.

What to do when your luggage gets lost
It’s no secret that bags are being lost at UK airports as fast as Netflix has shed subscribers. So if you’re planning to travel this summer, it’s best to expect that some of your luggage might get waylaid at some point in your journey — and to have a back-up plan in case the worst happens. The obvious solution is to hit the airport with hand luggage only, but that’s not always possible if you need to travel with verboten cargo.

The worst flight delays at the world's busiest airports: see the list
Flying for many has become full of delays, cancellations and other travel woes, but there are some airports that are worse than others when ranked by air-travel hiccups. FlightAware’s data set covers the world’s top airports measured by number of flights. The delay percentage is the share of an airport’s completed departures that arrived more than 15 minutes late at their destination, according to the data provider.