Week InReview
Friday | Mar 12, 2021
The 'Doorway Effect'
You head to another room to do something. But, by the time you get there, you've forgotten what you wanted to do. There's a logical explanation.

The Conversation

let's recap...
Everydays: The First 5000 Days by Beeple, which was minted on Feb. 16, 2021.
Source: Christie's
On Thursday, a digital artwork less than a month old hammered for $60.25 million at Christie’s in New York, shattering every previous record set for the medium and pushing the NFT (non-fungible token) market into the price range of blue-chip masterworks. With buyer’s premium the total comes to $69.3 million. A spokesperson for Christie’s declined to name the buyer. (Bloomberg Pursuits | Mar 11)

Covid amplified inequality — by race as well as income, gender, occupation, and nationality. For many, the lost year threatens to become a lost decade akin to America’s doldrums after the deep recession of 2007-09 or Japan’s long slump after its asset bubble popped in 1991. The cumulative future damage is likely to be even greater than the havoc Covid wrought in its first, acute year. (Bloomberg Equality | Mar 10)

Now that Congress has passed Joe Biden’s $1.9tn U.S. stimulus bill, the administration and its Democratic allies are gearing up for their next big legislative priority: a multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure package. But the administration could struggle to craft legislation designed to overhaul creaking bridges, roads, and broadband networks that appeals to Republicans while also fulfilling Biden’s ambitions on clean energy and racial equity. (Financial Times | Mar 10)

The GameStop trading frenzy has prompted U.S. regulators to consider new rules for everything from short-selling to investing with options and gamification, indicating watchdogs are just getting started in responding to the market mayhem. (Bloomberg Markets | Mar 10)

The rate that the Federal Reserve targets to control monetary policy is defying the skeptics by holding firmly above zero, prompting a rethink from those who thought the central bank might need to step in and tinker with the front end. (Bloomberg Markets | Mar 9)
SEC chair nominee Gensler advanced by Senate Banking panel
Gary Gensler
(Mar 10) — The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee advanced President Joe Biden’s nomination of Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission to a vote in the full chamber.
  • Panel voted 14-10 in favor
  • Committee vote tied 12-12 on approving Rohit Chopra to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which under Senate rules effectively sends the nomination on to a full floor vote

see also
SPAC surge prompts SEC to take 'hard look' at disclosures
(Mar 10) — The Securities and Exchange Commission is “taking a hard look” at disclosures and other structural issues in the wake of a rapid increase in the number of special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs.
  • The surge in SPAC volume is a “significant change,” John Coates, acting director of the SEC’s division of corporate finance, said in an agency tweet
  • The SEC is also cautioning investors against making investment decisions related to SPACs based solely on the celebrities that endorse them
  • The SEC urges investors instead to check out the background of the sponsors, how the SPAC is structured, its plans for a business combination, and the risks associated with investing, according to a new investor bulletin

see also
Everyone, even Mom, wants to get in on the action around SPACs (Bloomberg Wealth - Investing | Mar 10)
the cyber cafe
Microsoft’s cybercrimes unit in Redmond, Wash. Firms like Microsoft and Google, because they sit atop global networks, have a front-seat view of suspicious activity. 
Photo: Kyle Johnson/The New York Times
Massive cyberattacks linked to Russia and China highlight intelligence blind spot
The National Security Agency is generally prohibited from using its vast surveillance powers to collect intelligence on domestic targets, including computer servers inside the U.S., maintained by American companies. The Microsoft and SolarWinds hacks were disclosed by private-sector researchers, not the U.S. government.

A ‘crazy huge’ hack
The number of suspected targets now dwarfs even those victimized during last year’s massive SolarWinds attack, the breach of security software used by scores of government agencies. While the perpetrators of SolarWinds are thought to be Russian, this time China has emerged as the prime suspect. But just what was the attackers after, and what can be done to stop the next hack before it occurs?

The dangerous blind spot in the SolarWinds attack: embedded devices
The latest SolarWinds revelation is that nearly one-third of the known victims linked to the campaign were not breached via SolarWinds software, but by other means such as configuration issues in cloud services.
The Hill
binge reading disorder
Illustration: CNN
Meet Gen C, the Covid generation
Some experts have started to use a new term to talk about seismic changes they're seeingchanges that could cause ripple effects in children's lives far into the future.

Remote work won't be going away once offices open again
While many miss the collaboration that can happen in the office, they also like the freedom of working remotely. One firm is now attempting to institute a “smart” working policy, closing some offices and allowing everyone the option of logging in from home, with access to redesigned company facilities when they feel the need.

Five trends that will reshape the way we work
The pandemic instantly proved that remote work is possible for a large swath of workers, but also brought a sharp focus on issues such as mental well-being, team engagement, productivity, data privacy and cybersecurity risks, and much more.
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