Week InReview
Friday | Nov 20, 2020
How to give good face.
Clockwise from left, tools to help you look your on-screen best: the Sony RX100 camera, Facebook Portal Mini, Logitech StreamCam and Apple's iPhone 11 Pro. 
Photo illustration: Emil Lendof/WSJ, Photos: Sony
During the pandemic, cloud-based video calling enabled everything from all-hands meetings to remote workout classes to weddings — and with Covid-19 cases on the rise again, it doesn’t look like our this life is going to stop soon. From art displays to a smartphone-turned-webcam, here's how to look good on your next video call.

— The Wall Street Journal
let's recap...
The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a final rule package Thursday that eliminates some financial disclosures and updates requirements for reporting related to liquidity and accounting estimates, but doesn’t address pleas to require climate change reporting. In a 3-2 vote, commissioners approved a measure to update and streamline requirements for the management’s discussion and analysis portion of financial reports, part of an ongoing efforts to modernize its disclosure rules. (Bloomberg Law | Nov 19)

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be required by their regulator to hold hundreds of billions of dollars in capital to protect against losses, a step considered crucial to freeing the mortgage giants from U.S. control. The Federal Housing Finance Agency rule finalized Wednesday stipulates how much of a capital cushion the companies would have to maintain against their assets as fully private entities in order to weather a financial crisis. The combined total could exceed $280 billion, and Fannie and Freddie would likely need to sell shares and retain earnings for years to raise the funds. (Bloomberg Markets | Nov 18) see also Fannie-Freddie briefly rise with capital rule 'prelude' to exit (Bloomberg Law | Nov 19)

Democrats at the SEC soon will inherit Chair Jay Clayton’s playbook for handling the coronavirus, cryptocurrency, and whistleblowers — containing strategies they largely supported. Clayton, who plans to leave at year’s end, laid the groundwork for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s aggressive enforcement of securities laws to root out potential Covid-19 and cryptocurrency fraud. The Republican-leaning independent also ushered in new rules that clarify the commission’s discretion to set whistleblower awards, while seeing the bounties hit a record $175 million in fiscal 2020. (Bloomberg Law | Nov 18)

Global regulators are preparing to tighten restrictions on investment funds and shadow lenders, concluding they threatened the stability of the financial system at the height of this year’s pandemic-fueled market volatility. Key areas of vulnerability during the March mayhem included big investors’ dash for cash, significant redemptions in mutual funds and non-government money market funds, as well as leveraged hedge fund trades in Treasuries, the Financial Stability Board said. The FSB indicated it would issue proposals next year to make money market funds more resilient and then address risks posed by the broader non-bank financial sector in 2022. (Bloomberg Markets | Nov 16)

They were once America’s corporate titans. Beloved household names. Case studies in success. But now, they’re increasingly looking like something else — zombies. And their numbers are swelling. From Boeing, Carnival and Delta Air Lines to Exxon Mobil and Macy’s, many of the nation’s most iconic companies aren’t earning enough to cover their interest expenses (a key criterion, as most market experts define it, for zombie status). (Bloomberg Markets | Nov 17)
SEC to drop hedge fund stock secrecy rule overhaul
(Nov 17) — The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission isn’t planning to finalize a controversial plan that would have let most hedge funds to keep their stock investments secret, Chair Jay Clayton said Tuesday. Clayton said the SEC wasn’t moving forward in a response to a lawmaker’s question during a virtual hearing of the Senate Banking Committee. The SEC’s July proposal for changing the rule known as 13-F was roundly criticized by company executives, academics and investment firms.

Source: Ben Bain/Bloomberg Government
U.S. report warns of damage to financial system without more fiscal support
(Nov 18) — The Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Research warned on Wednesday that there were “significant downside risks” to the nation’s financial stability from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and predicted that many households and businesses might be unable to recover without additional government assistance.

In its annual report to Congress, the OFR detailed the gravity of the threat that the financial system faced earlier this year as the virus unexpectedly compelled businesses to shut down across the United States and caused officials to impose stay-at-home orders around much of the country. It praised government efforts to support the economy, but suggested that substantial uncertainty remains because of the unpredictable path of the virus.

Source: Alan Rappeport/Bloomberg Government
the cyber cafe
Photo: Getty Images
Cisco fixes WebEx ghost-user vulnerabilities
Security researchers discovered flaws in Cisco Systems Inc.'s popular WebEx platform, which made it possible for hackers to spy on meetings unbeknown to attendees, even if hosts attempted to remove them. Cisco has since fixed the problem, which was made public as part of a coordinated vulnerability disclosure, a spokesperson said.
— CyberScoop

Defending against dark data
Dark data has become an increasing problem as data generation and collection is growing exponentially across industries. Many different categories of dark data exist in organizational databases. For example, data such as employee profiles, raw survey data, customer information, email correspondence, and financial statements can all be classified as dark data if they have not been used constructively. In recent years, dark data has played a critical role in the data strategies of companies worldwide.

Sophisticated botnets, malware, and more... cybercriminal get more ruthless
2020 has proven to be a challenging year in so many ways, and that includes the area of cyberthreats. Cybercriminals took advantage of the coronavirus and its side effects to unveil even more aggressive types of attacks. The third quarter of the year saw an increase in malware, especially against timely targets such as schools and healthcare facilities. A report published by security provider Nuspire discusses the latest threats and offers tips on how to fight them.
binge reading disorder
Illustration: Anna Haifisch for Bloomberg Green
The secret club for billionaires who care about climate change
A small, secretive nonprofit called Creo Syndicate, an exclusive club of climate-focused investors, aims to speed up the flow of capital into investments that can slow global warming.

WFH is old news. The 'near home' office is the next big thing.
Rather than commute into a big city, workers get the option of recreating the community aspects of office life closer to home. It would also help address technology deficiencies in some places.

Why we sigh
The psychological, or "physiopsychological," aspects of sighing are finally starting to be explored. A recent theory proposes that sighing is not just a reset for the lungs and breathing, but for our emotions too, bringing us back to stasis from big emotions, whether they be positive or negative. 
— Vice
220 x 128 px