Week InReview
Friday | Dec 25, 2020
What to watch.
For now, most families will be sticking to their living rooms over the holidays.

With Hollywood films appearing on digital platforms at the same time (or soon after) they premiere in theaters, there’s more to stream from home this year than any other holiday in history.

A teacher and jazz pianist's body is separated from his soul, Wonder Woman visits 1984, and other feasts for your eyes and ears. Here’s a look at where to start, whether you’re watching a screen or listening to a podcast.

— The Wall Street Journal
let's recap...
Photo: Ian Loring Shiver/Bloomberg Businessweek; Prop stylist: David Probasco
At the end of 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic started, the two best-known faces of the pharmaceutical business were the imprisoned Martin Shkreli and the lawsuit-laden opioid makers at Purdue Pharma LP. The rest of the industry was perhaps best known for the skyrocketing prices of its medicines. In a Gallup Poll of the public’s view of various business sectors, pharma was ranked at the bottom, behind the oil industry, advertising and public relations, and lawyers. Who’d have guessed that a year later pharma would be getting credit for saving the world? (Bloomberg Businessweek | Dec 23)

A high-powered group of U.S. regulators cited money market mutual funds as a key source of stress during March’s pandemic-fueled market turmoil, while making a number of recommendations on how to make the investments more resilient during the next crisis. The group said a top concern is that investors expect the funds to be highly liquid but that’s not always the case when markets go haywire. (Bloomberg Law | Dec 22)

One category of bonds that has yet to receive federal support is Single Asset/Single Borrower Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities (SASB CMBS). Like the Residential Mortgage Backed Securities instrumental in the financial crisis, CMBS are serviced from principal and interest payments on a pool of real-estate loans. But the underlying mortgages are liens on large, income-producing properties such as office buildings, apartment complexes, hotels, and shopping malls. (National Review - Capital Matters | Dec 22)

The Securities and Exchange Commission approved a new kind of direct listing, opening the door to an alternative to the traditional initial public offering — which could help startups save on bank fees and capture more of the gains in their share price when they go public. The decision was a victory for the New York Stock Exchange, which sought to change its rulebook to make the new process available to companies going public. (The Wall Street Journal | Dec 22)

The Federal Reserve said last Friday that the largest U.S. banks remain strong enough to survive the coronavirus crisis but warned that a prolonged economic downturn could saddle them with hundreds of billions of dollars in losses on soured loans. The Fed also said it would allow the banks to restart share buybacks but that it would, at least in the first quarter, restrict the amount. It said it would continue to restrict dividend payouts. (The Wall Street Journal | Dec 18)
Fannie-Freddie living wills would be required under FHFA plan
(Dec 22) — A Federal Housing Finance Agency proposal would require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to develop credible resolution plans that would facilitate rapid and orderly wind-downs if companies failed. The proposal is similar to those required by the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for big Wall Street banks, and plan would require Fannie and Freddie to show how core business lines would be maintained so that the companies could continue to support the mortgage-finance system even if they ran into trouble.
the cyber cafe
Don’t be afraid of the dark. Photo: Hayley Catherine
Taking dark data into the light
We are dark data machines. According to CIO.com, more than 80% of all data is dark and unstructured. This figure is projected to grow to 93% by 2022, with the arrival of more devices generating data, such as internet of things (IoT) sensors and next generation cars.
— CMSWire

5 common decision-making biases in cybersecurity
Confirmation bias in decision-making can contribute to adverse cybersecurity outcomes. "People tend to focus on and remember information that confirms or aligns with their beliefs while discounting or forgetting information that opposes their viewpoint," says researcher Margaret Cunningham, who has written a report for Forcepoint about the subject.

DHS to issue China data security warning to U.S. businesses
The Department of Homeland Security is set to issue an advisory to U.S. businesses, warning them of data security risks associated with using communications equipment and services from China-linked companies. A 15-page advisory was compiled by the Office of Trade and Economic Security, with input from several different U.S. agencies and offices.
— Axios
binge reading disorder
eCommerce start-ups are raising large amounts of capital to create conglomerates of small brands that sell on Amazon. Illustration: FT montage; Getty Images
Amazon is the new mall
Investors are pouring $1bn into buying up small merchants on Amazon. Independent merchants on Amazon’s vast marketplace will make more than $200bn of sales this year, and tens of thousands of them have revenues of more than $1m a year. That has created an opportunity to roll up dozens of the emerging winners and scale up their businesses.

What to do before you die: A tech checklist
1. Take inventory of your digital assets
2. Add a digital executor to your will
3. Add digital heirs to your accounts

Lessons from Shakespeare: How to survive a pandemic with humor
No writer has better mined the depths and variety of human experience and emotion. As we try to come to terms with the gamut of feelings elicited by this strange new Covid-ridden world we inhabit, we can do a lot worse than turn to Shakespeare for guidance.
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