Week InReview
Friday | Mar 27, 2020
Nutrition and how not to  eat all day when staying at home .
Five workouts   you can do at home
The kids are home , but you need to work.  What do you do ?
— The Wall Street Journal
in case you missed it...
Here’s a sign of the times: Money managers are hastening to warn investors about the potential financial impact of a pandemic. More than 40 asset managers have updated their shareholder prospectuses to include such risks in Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Most are using similar language, stating that pandemics are among a range of potential hazards for investors, though some statements are more comprehensive than others. (Bloomberg Law | Mar 26)

For certain agency mortgage investors the quote attributed to the 18th century banker Baron Rothschild to “buy when there’s blood in the streets” brings the current environment to mind. With the Federal Reserve announcing  unlimited purchases  of agency MBS and Treasuries on Monday, Treasury yields are likely to move lower while mortgage spreads tighten. The move has already begun in mortgages. (Bloomberg Markets | Mar 24)

Mutual funds facing stress from the market turmoil caused by coronavirus will be able to tap their parent asset-management companies and other affiliates for funding under relief announced this week by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The move gives the $19 trillion mutual-fund industry another tool to deal with large swings in redemptions, including borrowing money from the firm that manages the portfolio, according to an SEC order made public late Monday. (The Wall Street Journal | Mar 24)

A broad set of bond exchange-traded funds are trading out of sync with their underlying assets, testing investors’ faith in a fast-growing part of the investment world. (The Wall Street Journal | Mar 23) See also: Costs to borrow ETFs jumps as volatility spikes (Financial Times | Mar 22)

The Federal Reserve ventured into political territory Monday by offering to directly finance U.S. companies, jumping ahead of Congress — which is still arguing over similar assistrance. Unveiling unprecedented measures to shelter the economy from the coronavirus, the Fed acted after the failure so far by U.S. lawmakers to advance a $2 trillion dollar stimulus package. (Bloomberg Law | Mar 23)
#wfh means longer hours for many
(Mar 23)  —  As many people across the globe move to working remotely to slow the spread of coronavirus, they’re also starting to work a longer day. Those in the U.S. have logged on for an additional three hours per day compared to patterns seen before March 11  –  a 40% jump  –  according to data from virtual private network service provider NordVPN Teams. In the U.K., France, Spain and Canada, the working day has extended by an average of two hours, with many people starting work earlier than usual.

Source: Lucy Meakin, Bloomberg Government
FSOC meets on nonbank mortgages
(Mar 26)  —  The Financial Stability Oversight Council met in closed and open sessions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. During the executive session, the Council discussed developments related to the Covid-19 virus and its impacts on financial institutions and markets. In the open session, the Council discussed recent market developments related to the Covid-19 virus.

The Council also heard an update from Treasury staff regarding nonbank mortgage origination and servicing, following up on the discussion at the Council’s meeting on September 4, 2019 , and a recommendation in the Council’s 2019 annual report.

Council members provided updates regarding how their agencies are responding to the financial and economic effects of the virus’s spread. The Council also voted to approve the minutes of its previous meeting on December 4, 2019 .
the cyber cafe
#wfh | Alexa, other smart speakers can hear confidential calls
Amazon.com’s Alexa, Google’s voice assistant, and similar devices could overhear confidential conversations or be compromised by hackers. Baby monitors and Amazon’s Ring video doorbells also present security risks while working from home.

Some hackers are likely playing a long game with Covid-19 schemes
Coronavirus hackers could lie dormant in corporate and government networks for a long time. The fallout from Covid-19-related breaches may not become clear for weeks, months or even longer. “They’ll then start siphoning off those resources as inconspicuously as possible, or wait to hit all the assets in one fell swoop when the company is most vulnerable,” said Stephen Breidenbach, a cybersecurity and privacy lawyer at Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP.

U.S. cybersecurity experts see recent spike in Chinese digital espionage
A U.S. cybersecurity firm said Wednesday it has detected a surge in new cyberspying by a suspected Chinese group dating back to late January, when Covid-19 began to spread beyond China.
—  Reuters
binge reading disorder
Moscow bar mixes 'coronavirus' cocktail to soothe outbreak angst
Moscow’s Razvedka Bar began selling a “coronavirus” cocktail last week. The cocktail is served in a glass with two medical syringes, one containing a bright red and the other a bright green liquid, though the bar’s manager, Anton Zagariya, declined to identify the ingredients used.
—  Reuters

'National Emergency Library' lends a hand – and lots of books – during pandemic
A nonprofit group has made some 4 million books available online for free and says that it is suspending waitlists for the 1.4 million works in its lending library. The move expedites the borrowing process through the end of June ("or the end of the U.S. national emergency, whichever is later") for anybody worldwide who'd like one of those books — be they students, teachers or just average readers bored out of their wits in quarantine.

'Dear Therapist’s' guide to staying sane during social isolation/lockdowns
—  The Atlantic
How to grocery shop safely during the pandemic
—  Slate
How to handle packages during the pandemic
—  Wirecutter
220 x 128 px