The Federal Reserve's Randal Quarles and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s Jelena McWilliams have spent several months touring the country, visiting bank examiners in regional offices, and asking them to adopt a less aggressive tone when flagging risky practices and pressing firms to change their behavior. (The Wall Street Journal | Dec 12)
U.S. chief financial officers expect a recession as soon as next year, adding to signs that the outlook is souring among businesses and consumers amid a trade war and volatile financial markets. While about 49 percent of respondents see an economic downturn by the end of 2019, 82 percent expect that a recession will have begun by the end of 2020. (Bloomberg Markets | Dec 12)
One of the International Monetary Fund's top officials warned on Tuesday that storm clouds were gathering over the global economy and that governments and central banks might not be well-equipped to cope. (Reuters | Dec 11)
The back-to-back reversals underline the market's nervousness as bulls and bears debate fast-shifting narratives on interest rates and U.S.-China trade. While the S&P 500's bounce from below 2,600 signaled to some that a floor may be forming, its failure to hold above 2,650 became grist for arguments against more upside. (Bloomberg Markets | Dec 11)
Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Jay Clayton told lawmakers that investment advisers can dodge a requirement to put their clients' interests ahead of their own if they put exceptions in their client agreements. (InvestmentNews | Dec 11)
Cybersecurity news every Friday
Hacking group "Charming Kitten" targets nuclear experts and Treasury officials
As the U.S. restored harsh economic sanctions on Iran last month, hackers scrambled to break into the personal emails of U.S. officials tasked with enforcing those sanctions. Also on the hackers' hit list were high-profile defenders, detractors and enforcers of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, as well as Arab atomic scientists, Iranian civil society figures and D.C. think tank employees.
Cyber risk: SEC expects disclosure updates this year
Cybersecurity is "absolutely" a topic of interest and it's "definitely fair" to say that the SEC "will be taking a look at that" when reviewing company disclosures this season, Cicely LaMothe, associate director in the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance, said during a panel discussion at the American Institute of CPAs conference on SEC-PCAOB developments in Washington.
A senior U.S. intelligence official said on Tuesday that Chinese cyber activity in the United States had risen in recent months, targeting critical infrastructure in what may be attempts to lay the groundwork for future disruptive attacks.
Ghosting at work is now big enough that it caught the Fed's attention
The Federal Reserve's new Beige Book contains some millennial slang to describe a rising trend in the workplace: ghosting The mention also comes with a helpful explanation: "A number of contacts said that they had been 'ghosted," a situation in which a worker stops coming to work without notice and then is impossible to contact."
Wall Street urgently pushes its D.C. wish list as time runs out
For Wall Street lobbyists, December is the time for holiday cocktail parties and last-ditch efforts to win favors from lawmakers. The Volcker rule and cross-border swap rules are among the top targets.