Week InReview
Friday | Mar 26, 2021
The water cooler... post-Covid.
Photo: Getty Images
As companies start reopening offices, and perhaps give employees a choice as to whether to return, both companies and employees should consider that without a shared physical space, we will lose a kind of relationship we’re rarely aware of, and that barely has a word to describe it. Somewhere between strangers and friends, these are people with whom we share moments of chats and check-ins. It’s easy to dismiss them as superficial. But the relationships we develop with such workplace acquaintances are much more important to our sense of connection and community than many of us realize.

— The Wall Street Journal
let's recap...
America’s personal money watchdog is beginning to stir once again.
Photo: Getty Images
Billions of dollars are set to flow from stocks to bonds around the end of March as big investors move money to rebalance their portfolios, analysts say. The large fall in bond prices and a rally in stocks in the first three months of the year have thrown many investors’ typical portfolio mix of 60 percent equities and 40 percent bonds out of whack. (Financial Times (Mar 25)

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she’s begun working on Financial Stability Oversight Council issues, and that “asset management will be on the list” of areas the council studies. Yellen, who leads FSOC in her role at Treasury, said she still thinks it’s “appropriate to designate institutions whose failure would pose material risk to U.S. financial stability.” However, she said asset managers are very different than the big banks that are already overseen by the Fed and it’s “not obvious to me that designation is the correct tool.” (Bloomberg Politics | Mar 24) see also Yellen puts climate on first FSOC meeting agenda (Bloomberg Green - Politics | Mar 24)

The Federal Reserve plans to make climate change a major part of its Wall Street oversight by creating a new committee that will identify and respond to dangers a warming planet poses to the financial system. The Financial Stability Climate Committee will be “charged with developing and implementing a program to assess and address climate-related risks to financial stability,” Fed Governor Lael Brainard said in a speech on Tuesday. (Bloomberg Green | Mar 24)

President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, Rohit Chopra, is expected to win Senate confirmation within weeks. But the regulator is already sending a message that it’s getting tougher. On-site examinations are up, banking executives tell consultants. Student lending, subprime auto loans, debt collection, mortgage services, and payday loans are all expected to come under renewed scrutiny, analysts say. (Bloomberg Businessweek | Mar 23)

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Monday that the U.S. central bank is actively exploring the launch of a fully digital dollar and would move to adopt such an offering only with the support of the nation’s elected leaders. (The Wall Street Journal | Mar 22)
the cyber cafe
Trust no one becomes mantra after massive cyber-attacks
in the wake of two massive cyber-attacks that exposed glaring deficiencies in U.S. defenses, government officials and cybersecurity practitioners are saying zero trust may be the way to stop the cyber mayhem.

Software vendors would have to disclose breaches to U.S. government users under new order
A planned Biden administration executive order will require many software vendors to notify their federal government customers when the companies have a cybersecurity breach, according to a draft seen by Reuters. A National Security Council spokeswoman said no decision has been made on the final content of the executive order.
— Reuters

U.S. regulators seek to tighten cyber incident reporting
The Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation have proposed rules to force banks and their service providers to strengthen their critical incident response protocols. The rules require banks to notify supervisors within 36 hours of a security incident, including system outages experienced by a bank service provider.
— JD Supra
binge reading disorder
Pets adopted during the pandemic could face stress if their owners suddenly stop working from home.
Photo: Getty Images/iStockPhoto
Pet panic
For thousands of pets adopted during the pandemic, this will be the first time they’ll regularly be left in their new home alone for extended periods. Here's what pet owners should do to prepare their pets. see also How the Furbo Dog Camera helped me leave my pet home alone

Why you stay up so late, even when you know you shouldn't
Some researchers call this bedtime procrastination or while-in-bed procrastination, while the Chinese word for it translates to “revenge bedtime procrastination.” No matter what you call it, in my case, it involves a combination of technology and anxiety.
— Wired

How not to panic about inflation
Do you remember the great inflation scare of 2010-2011? It’s an episode worth revisiting, because there’s a good chance that we’ll see a replay over the next year or so.
— New York Times (opinion)
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