Week InReview
Friday | Nov 27, 2020
Black Friday? What about Sock Friday?
We’re all craving comfort. Exhausted Americans are hunkering down for winter — and gifts that were once considered a little boring and last-minute will be uncharacteristically thrilling. Amid a stubborn, stay-at-home pandemic, basic gifts outclass luxury items.

— The Wall Street Journal
let's recap...
Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has denied any political motivation in clawing back funds from programs aimed at propping up the U.S. economy, plans to put $455 billion in unspent rescue package money out of reach from his incoming replacement, former Fed Chair Janet Yellen. But that may be unlikely to stop her from moving aggressively to revive the world’s biggest economy with more bailout funding. (Bloomberg Politics | Nov 24)

A significant number of asset managers risk being locked out of the interest-rate swaps market early next year unless they sign on to a new protocol designed to smooth the transition away from Libor, warned the chair of the CFTC. With the London interbank offered rate set to be phased out at the end of 2021, market participants are being encouraged to adopt standardized language by January that will convert Libor-linked contracts to an alternative reference rate once the benchmark expires. (Bloomberg Markets | Nov 24)

The biggest U.S. tech companies – Amazon, Google, and Facebook – are providing a jolt to the slumbering commercial real-estate business, emerging as major tenants and acquirers of office and other space while many nontech firms are trying to tear up their leases. (The Wall Street Journal | Nov 24)

The Structured Finance Association urged Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to “avoid the potentially destructive effects” of releasing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “prematurely” from the government’s conservatorship. “A hastily thrown together exit from conservatorship based on the political calendar risks undoing the positive work that has been accomplished and is currently underway,” the group said in a letter. (Structure Finance Association | Nov 23)

A long-awaited Commodity Futures Trading Commission report into the collapse of crude-oil futures to minus $40 a barrel in April has declined to identify a reason for the crash, prompting criticism from one of the agency’s own commissioners. The rapid descent into negative territory on April 20 sparked calls from market participants and others for a swift and thorough investigation by federal regulators. (The Wall Street Journal | Nov 23)
the cyber cafe
Updated Trickbot malware is more resilient
With the 100th release of TrickBot, the malware came equipped with new and advanced evasive capabilities. One such capability is its use of an obfuscated batch script launcher to jumpstart malicious executables.

Cybercriminal tactics to change in 2021 to target corporate networks
Cybercriminal tactics in 2021 will shift in new and innovative ways to attack individuals, their homes and devices to find a path to corporate networks, according to WatchGuard Technologies‘ security predictions for next year. The global pandemic has rapidly accelerated the existing shift toward remote work. Employees now operate beyond the protection of the corporate firewall. In turn, cybercriminal tactics will exploit these vulnerabilities.

Botnets have been silently mass-scanning the internet for unsecured ENV files
Drawing little attention to themselves, multiple threat actors have spent the past two-three years mass-scanning the internet for ENV files that have been accidentally uploaded and left exposed on web servers.
— ZDNet
binge reading disorder
Gifts to keep your cooped-up kids entertained
When you’re shopping for kids this holiday season, keep those hard-working parents front of mind — especially if you are one. Look for toys, games, and activities that do double duty, keeping children happily occupied for extended stretches of time, with minimal mess and little to no adult supervision required. 

Covid passports seen as key to resuming international travel
Global airline lobby IATA is working on a mobile app that will help travelers demonstrate their coronavirus-free status, joining a push to introduce so-called Covid passports to speed up the revival of international travel. The Travel Pass will display test results together with proof of inoculation, as well as listing national entry rules and details on the nearest labs, according to the International Air Transport Association. The app will also link to an electronic copy of the holder’s passport to prove their identity.

Hi, my name is ______, and I'm a workaholic.
Being a workaholic is bad in the long term, even if it often leads to near-term rewards professionally. This article looks at remedies for workaholism, including establishing clear boundaries between work and down time, rest and relaxation, and therapy. If you're not sure of your workaholic status, check out the the Bergen Work Addiction Scale.
— Inverse
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