Week InReview
Friday | Oct 30, 2020
Get ready for a rare Halloween blue moon night.
There are all kinds of ways to get in the Halloween mood — but none easier and more satisfying than sitting down with a really scary book. The Wall Street Journal asked readers of their Books newsletter to share their favorite literary frights, and they didn’t hesitate to let them know about the books that still have them a little shaken. They share their recommendations for chilling reading of all sorts — and nobody’s going to judge you if you wind up leaving the lights on afterward.

— The Wall Street Journal
U.S. Capitol
Photo: stock.adobe.com
For a risky corner of the exchange-traded fund market, U.S. regulators are giving the industry an easier pathway to getting new products approved while warning that tougher rules may be on the horizon. The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday cleared the way for an uptick in exchange-traded funds that use derivatives to juice investment returns, provided that firms comply with a new set of restrictions. Meanwhile, the SEC also commenced a review of those products. (Bloomberg Law | Oct 28)

Total outstanding rent debt is estimated to be far less than what was lost when the subprime-mortgage bubble burst. But the tens of millions of people potentially facing eviction far exceeds the 3.8 million homeowners foreclosed on in 2007-10. (The Wall Street Journal | Oct 27)

U.S. regulators are shelving a controversial plan to allow most hedge funds to keep their stock investments secret after public companies and other critics blasted the proposal as a major blow to market transparency. Under the rule change the Securities and Exchange Commission was considering, only fund managers who owned at least $3.5 billion in equities would have had to publicly report their holdings, a dramatic increase from the current threshold of $100 million. (Bloomberg Business | Oct 27)

Wall Street executives fretting that Democrats will sweep the White House and Congress can take comfort — some of the Trump era’s most bank-friendly regulators might stick around no matter how the election goes. The possible holdovers, who occupy powerful jobs at the Federal Reserve and other agencies, have months or even years left on their terms. Because they work at independent watchdogs that are supposed to be insulated from politics, they can resist pressure to step down, and a President Joe Biden would have almost no legal recourse to remove them. (Bloomberg Business | Oct 26)

The U.S. Treasury market still runs the risk of abrupt freezes in liquidity like the one seen in March and April, as the Covid-19 pandemic roiled the financial system, a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Market Committee said on Friday. (Reuters | Oct 23)
SEC officials warn about risk of leveraged ETFs, ETNs and ETPs
Photo: Reuters
(Oct 28) — U.S. Securities Exchange Commission Chair Jay Clayton and several of his top deputies express concern over whether people understand “unique risk” associated with leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds and other products. SEC officials said in a statement on Wednesday:
  • “We also are concerned that retail investors, and in certain cases financial professionals, may not fully appreciate how these types of products operate”
  • Investors in the instruments faced significant losses during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic
  • Retail investors who trade on their own without intermediaries need to be aware of the risks
  • SEC staff will “review the effectiveness of existing regulatory requirements in protecting investors” to deal with the issues

Source: Bloomberg Government
the cyber cafe
'Zoom bombings' & phishing: Innovating security in a remote setting
To initially transition to remote work, many IT departments opened up access to company servers without the right protocols in place, lowering the security profile of company resources and potentially granting access to a “man in the middle”: A bad actor who wouldn’t normally be able to intercept this transmission.
— Dice

Cybersecurity is failing due to economic issues
The report by Debate Security research supports the view that efficacy problems in the cybersecurity market are primarily due to economic issues, not technological ones. The research addresses three key themes and ultimately arrives at a consensus for how to approach a new model.

Russian hackers play 'Chekhov's gun' with U.S. infrastructure
Last week the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency published an advisory warning that a group known as Berserk Bear – or alternately Energetic Bear, TEMP.Isotope, and Dragonfly – had carried out a broad hacking campaign against U.S. state, local, territorial, and tribal government agencies, as well aviation sector targets.
— Wired
binge reading disorder
Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Six feet won’t be enough for safety. Covid-19's wintry mix
It’s not just the cold, it’s the humidity. Cold, dry air facilitates the spread of the coronavirus, and the social distancing that helped outside won’t be as effective indoors, scientists said.
— Stat

How trolltrace became a real thing 
Every day it becomes harder to tell the difference between a conventional troll and a weaponized troll. In a case of life imitating parody, fans of South Park highlight that the Trolltrace subplot in 2016 predicted much of this.

12 cyber threats that could wreak havoc on the election
From targeted misinformation to manipulated data, these are the cybersecurity concerns election officials worry about most.
— Wired
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