Week InReview
Friday | Aug 28, 2020
#wfh | Five months later.
According to a Buddhist priest from Oregon who meditates twice daily — and then for a full week every month, the key to avoiding burnout is to “get in touch with the aspect of ourselves that is not burnt out and cannot be burnt out.” 

— Bloomberg Businessweek
let's recap...
In a speech delivered virtually for the central bank’s annual policy symposium traditionally held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell unveiled a new approach to setting U.S. monetary policy, letting inflation and employment run higher in a shift that will likely keep interest rates low for years to come. Following a more than year-long review, Powell said the Fed will seek inflation that averages 2% over time, a step that implies allowing for price pressures to overshoot after periods of weakness. It also adjusted its view of full employment to permit labor-market gains to reach more workers. (Bloomberg Economics | Aug 27)

The Federal Reserve looks likely to keep short-term interest rates near zero for five years or possibly more after it adopts a new strategy for carrying out monetary policy. The new approach, which could be unveiled as soon as next month, is likely to result in policy makers taking a more relaxed view toward inflation, even to the point of welcoming a modest, temporary rise above their 2% target to make up for past shortfalls. (Bloomberg Economics | Aug 26)

The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted changes to its decades-old definition of a professional investor in order to allow more everyday Americans to buy shares in private companies, and eased come company disclosure rules. But the change was criticized by investor advocates and agency officials who say even seasoned investors struggle to spot problems with private companies. (Reuters (Aug 26)

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has postponed implementation of a new mortgage refinancing fee to Dec. 1 from the planned date of Sept. 1. The 0.5% fee was intended to help compensate for potentially billions of dollars of losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, but has been criticized by the banking industry, consumer groups and lawmakers. (Reuters | Aug 25)

Banks and financial institutions need to assess money-laundering risks and conduct appropriate due diligence when dealing with foreign public officials and their families or associates, five regulatory agencies said. (The Wall Street Journal | Aug 24)
FHFA extends relief on buying loans in forbearance to Sept. 30
(Aug 26) — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s regulator said it will let the mortgage giants continue buying new loans that have entered forbearance through Sept. 30, extending relief that was set to expire at the end of August.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which also is extending flexibilities in loan origination requirements, said the steps are aimed at ensuring support for borrowers as they cope with the coronavirus crisis.

The origination flexibilities that were extended include alternative appraisal requirements, eased methods for documenting income and employment, and expanded use of power of attorney in closings.

Source: Bloomberg Government
the cyber cafe
New ransomware gang DarkSide sheds light on its tactics
A ransomware gang called DarkSide announced itself with a news release as a "new product" that has already succeeded in getting high-dollar ransom payouts. The operators assure future victims that they analyze a company's records before setting the ransom payment because they "do not want to kill your business," and will "only attack companies that can pay the requested amount."

Executives: You're a target for hackers
Senior leaders and board members are being targeted by cybercriminals, and so their home environments require segmented networks, improved passwords, and the use of virtual private networks and multifactor authentication, write corporate directors Nora Denzel and Melissa Hathaway. "The stakes are higher than ever: your money, privacy and reputation, as well as your corporation, are all now on the line," they write.

Russian charged with trying to recruit employee to plant malware in U.S company
According to the FBI, Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov promised to pay as much as $1 million to the employee to help his shadowy group steal data from a Nevada-based company for ransom purposes.
binge reading disorder
You can only control yourself right now 
It can feel like everything is out of control, writes columnist Elizabeth Bernstein. But the control you have over your own thoughts, feelings, and actions is powerful.

Nice people were just following orders
If you've ever wondered why inherently nice people do unseemly things at work, there's now research that offers an explanation. A new study has found a correlation between obedience and less empathy and guilt. Actions speak louder than words, but does morality speak louder than job security?

Money managers bracing for upheaval with stocks near record
Some of the biggest money managers are vexed by the same paradox troubling everyone else: Stocks are near an all-time high, but the world still seems to be falling apart.
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