Week InReview
Friday | Mar 20, 2020
Working from home.
And on the umpteenth day of the coronavirus panic, the overlords commanded: Thou shalt work from home. Here are some tech tips to help you cope, and perhaps even thrive.

It can be challenging , particularly in small spaces or when others in your household are also working from home. Technology has made remote work possible, but it doesn’t always function as you expect — especially if you haven’t tested your home setup lately. And digital tools can’t always fully re-create in-person communication. Here’s some advice for how to work best from home .

Position your webcam smartly . Since we’re all on videochat now, just remember: Keep a light source on your face, and try to avoid sitting with a window behind you. Frame your head and shoulders in the shot, and keep the camera lens at or above eye level—use a cardboard box as a stand if necessary. And lift your head up. Your chin will thank you. Lastly, grab a microfiber cloth and wipe off the lens from time to time.

Kill notifications during chats . During video calls  –  especially if you’re sharing screens  –  no one wants to see your notifications or hear those dings and rings. So mute! In Windows 10, go to  System > Notifications & Actions  and turn them off. On MacOS 10.8 Mountain Lion or later, click the three lines in the top right corner, then swipe down then turn on  Do Not Disturb . Just don’t forget to turn your notifications back on once the call is over.

in case you missed it...
what happened ...
  • An exchange-mandated circuit breaker halted trading for 15 minutes for the second time in three days after the S&P 500 fell 7% from its Tuesday close.

  • The Cboe Volatility Index spiked to 77.7 Monday, a level not seen since November 2008, data from FactSet and Cboe show. DataTrek Research co-founder Nicholas Colas says the S&P 500 could drop to 2,000 in the next 14 days if the pattern continues to replicate 2008.
There’s a reckoning coming in the over-the-counter derivatives market as investors have to file end-of-the-month reports with dealer banks detailing the depreciation of swaps positions from cratering global financial markets. (Bloomberg Law | Mar 19)

The portion of the Cboe Volatility Index futures curve that represents longer-dated contracts is rising rapidly. Some traders say the increase reflects expectations that the current stock market rout will continue, while others argue it shows credit market investors are hedging relatively illiquid holdings through exposure to S&P 500 volatility. (Bloomberg Markets | Mar 18)

Materials, energy and industrial stocks have been the hardest-hit sectors in the Dow's precipitous drop. Consumer staples and health care stocks have fared the best, with Walmart shares seeing the only gains in the index over the past five weeks. Recoveries from such large losses historically have taken many months to years. (Bloomberg | Mar 18)

Veteran financial forecaster Ed Yardeni, who coined the phrase "bond vigilantes" to describe investors who sell off sovereign debt in response to rising inflation in order to force up yields, now says conditions are ripe for their return. "They would undoubtedly push yields higher here with the kind of fiscal and monetary stimulus we are getting," Yardeni said. (Bloomberg Markets | Mar 18)

There have been plenty of scares in the market horror show of recent weeks, but one idea in particular is increasingly sending shivers around Wall Street: that extreme stock turbulence may now be feeding itself. The fear is that recent epic swings could be happening because volatility-sensitive players like risk-parity strategies and fast-money funds are aggressively deleveraging, exacerbating moves and sapping liquidity. (Bloomberg Markets | Mar 17)
what the central bank did ...
  • The Federal Reserve increased its efforts to shore up financial markets late on Wednesday by setting up a facility that would make loans to banks secured by assets from money market mutual funds.

  • U.S. stocks jumped Thursday after central banks deployed a flurry of emergency measures to try to buffer the global economy from fallout stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
the cyber cafe
Insiders sell employers' secrets on darknet bazaars
In the hidden corners of the internet, company insiders routinely offer access to their employers’ computer systems, sensitive client information and even advance looks at financial statements and business deals, security professionals say. Experts say little can be done to stop them.

Fake coronavirus maps infect visitors with malware
Hackers are once again taking advantage of concerns of Covid-19 by using fake coronavirus maps to infect visitors with malware, then steal information  –  IDs, passwords, and browsing history  –  via malware called AZORult.

U.S. facing 'catastrophic' cyber attack: federal report
The U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission claimed in a report that the country faces multiple threats from cyber-criminals and nation states: IP theft that hinders long-term growth, critical infrastructure attacks, cybercrime and ransomware, espionage for geopolitical advantage, and attacks designed to undermined democratic institutions.
binge reading disorder
On Wall Street, the new virtual workplace may far outlast the virus
Virtual finance may far outlast the coronavirus. In Hong Kong, bankers have learned to win stock offerings by video chat. Around the world, there are early signs that some of the emergency measures Wall Street is rolling out to keep employees safe in a pandemic will become a lasting practice in an industry that’s long mythologized the handshake.

Get ready, a bigger disruption is coming
Some history lessons are hard to learn. Global supply chains break, airlines slash flights, borders rise within nation-states, stock exchanges convulse with fear, and recession looms over economies. The last such churning occurred almost exactly a century ago, and it altered the world so dramatically that a revolution in the arts, sciences and philosophy, not to mention the discipline of economics, was needed even to make sense of it. 
—  Bloomberg Politics & Policy (opinion)

The heart of resilient leadership: Responding to Covid-19
In the face of certain challenges and a still-uncertain set of risks, business leaders must focus on five fundamental qualities to guide their organizations through the stages of the Covid-19 crisis. Those are being compassionate yet rational, keeping the mission top of mind, taking expedient action, taking control of the narrative and focusing on the long view.
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