Week InReview
Friday | Dec 20, 2019
The darkest day of the year.

In 2019, the winter solstice for the Northern Hemisphere occurs on Saturday, December 21, at 11:19 p.m. EST.

What is the winter solstice? It’s the astronomical moment when the Sun reaches the Tropic of Capricorn, we have our shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere in terms of daylight. Regardless of what the weather is doing outside your window, the solstice marks the official start of winter. 

in case you missed it...
The SEC has finished some work on swaps regulation under the Dodd-Frank Act, despite opposition. The Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3-2 to adopt a cross-border swaps rule and guidance, as well as related regulation The commission also voted 5-0 to adopt a   rule  directing swap dealers and major security-based swap participants to follow certain risk mitigation practices. (Bloomberg Law | Dec 18)

Many key threats to investors have been contained, but wrinkles in short-term lending remain. Global equity indices hit new records this week, but the year in markets usually takes the shape of an album. Most of the hits are front-loaded, the middle can be uneven, and it can get a bit weird right at the end. (Financial Times - opinion | Dec 18)

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has proposed new rules on the cross-border application of registration thresholds and certain requirements for swap dealers and major swap participants. "We must not regulate swaps activities in far flung lands simply to prevent every risk that might have a nexus to the United States," said CFTC Chair Heath Tarbert. (Reuters | Dec 18)

The first industry reporting test for the consolidated audit trail (CAT) began on Monday, but there could be a dearth of activity as participants have cited issues with an agreement presented by the exchanges. (Waters Technology | Dec 16)

The Federal Reserve is running the risk of fomenting an eventual financial crisis by easing banking regulations at the same time that it’s cut interest rates. So say some former Fed officials, including ex-Vice Chair Alan Blinder and financial stability experts Daniel Tarullo and Nellie Liang. (Bloomberg Law | Dec 17)
the cyber cafe
Tips for keeping data secure with remote workers
Remote employees can be a source of vulnerability for companies and their data. Here are six tips on improving cybersecurity for employees who work off site.
—  CMSWire

Cybersecurity in 2020: Eight frightening predictions
Jack Wallen shares cybersecurity predictions that might make your IT skin crawl. Find out what he thinks could be the silver lining to this security nightmare.
—  TechRepublic

FCA probes early audio streams of Bank of England press conferences
The UK’s financial watchdog is probing the revelation that an audio feed of the Bank of England’s market-sensitive press conferences was supplied to high-speed traders seconds before the events were more widely broadcast.
binge reading disorder
Wall Street magic tricks make banks look safer than they are
On a Friday afternoon in November, the long story of the global economic crisis reached a milestone: More than a decade after the fact, a court convicted senior executives from major banks for crisis-era crimes. Outside of Iceland and Ireland, such convictions have been rare. In Milan’s judicial complex, the judge sentenced 13 former executives of Deutsche Bank, Nomura Holdings, and Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena to prison terms as long as 7-½ years. Significantly, these men hadn’t been convicted of causing any of the market losses that crippled the banking system in 2008. They’d been convicted of hiding them.

Inside the secret bank behind the fintech boom
If you want a glimpse of the future of banking, don’t look to Silicon Valley or Manhattan’s financial district. Instead, drive across the George Washington Bridge to Fort Lee, New Jersey. If you glance left as you come over the traffic-clogged expanse and make your way onto Interstate 95, you’ll see a red granite office building. On its 14th floor, overlooking America’s busiest toll plaza, is the headquarters of a tiny FDIC-insured bank named Cross River.
—  Forbes

ISIS is experimenting with this new blockchain messaging app
The Islamic State has discovered blockchain. The technology that powers cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum promises to revolutionize almost all facets of society, from payment processing to online voting.
—  Vice
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