Week InReview
Global finance chiefs urge trade war solution 
as Bali talks wrap

Global finance chiefs used the closing sessions of talks in the tropical resort of Bali to hammer home the message that simmering trade tensions are already denting global growth and need to be resolved.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said it's essential to have dialogue on trade; Brazil's central bank President Ilan Goldfajn flagged the tensions as one of the biggest threats to emerging economies; Bank for International Settlements General Manager Agustin Carstens said there's a risk the global economy goes backwards due to rising protectionism. 

People's Bank of China Governor Yi Gang called for a constructive solution to the dispute, adding that China is preparing for the worst. Meanwhile,  here  are the key takeaways from the International Monetary Fund meeting that has wrapped up in Bali.
Friday | Oct 19, 2018
The Labor Department's short-lived rule meant to protect retirement savers from conflicted investment advice met its demise earlier this year. The SEC's  best-interest proposal, among other things, aims to reduce potential conflicts of interest and bans the use of misleading titles. It also requires broker-dealers to put clients' needs above personal gain but stops short of adopting the fiduciary standard governing investment advisers. (Bloomberg Law | Oct 17)

Fed policymakers stick to plans for more tightening
Despite outspoken criticism of rate rises from the president, a number of Fed policymakers said in their September meeting that they thought it might become necessary to temporarily boost rates above levels they expect in the longer run. This would prevent inflation from getting too hot and ward off risks of financial excesses, the central bankers said. (Financial Times | Oct 17)

Wall Street scores win over exchanges in market-data fee battle
The decision by the Securities and Exchange Commission to set aside some charges that NYSE and Nasdaq impose on brokers for market data follows a years-long legal battle. The regulator said the exchanges failed to justify fee increases that are crucial to their businesses. (Bloomberg Markets | Oct 16)

The Securities and Exchange Commission said in a no-action letter that mutual fund boards can rely on written quarterly chief compliance officer reports affirming that transactions relating to affiliated underwriting, cross-trades and affiliated brokerage comply with applicable rules. (ThinkAdvisor | Oct 15)

The most popular song of the 1970s British rock band Ten Years After goes, "I'd love to change the world ... but I don't know what to do." After a great guitar lick, the lead singer adds, "... so I leave it up to you." In a world riven by political polarization and dysfunctional governments, only companies can change the world. Corporations are dynamic and innovative, and only highly effective executive management teams can retain their jobs in today's shareholder activist world. (World Economic Forum | Oct 11)
Nonbank SIFIs, Brexit, SOFR
Readout of FSOC sessions
(Oct 16) -- The Financial Stability Oversight Council held closed and open sessions at the Department of the Treasury. During the closed session, FSOC discussed its 2018 annual report; the ongoing reevaluation of its designation of a nonbank financial company; Brexit and its potential effects on U.S. financial markets and institutions, and steps regulators are taking to identify and address such effects. In the open session, FSOC received an update from the Federal Reserve on alternative reference rates, including the adoption of the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), heard a presentation from the Office of Financial Research on its proposed rule to collect data on centrally cleared repurchase agreements, and voted unanimo usly to authorize the OFR to share with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York the data the OFR will collect under its final rule. FSOC also voted to approve the  minutes  from i ts Sept. 12 meeting.
SEC decision on market data fees
NYSE sees no immediate change to products, fees
(Oct 17) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission's decision regarding market data fees relating to NYSE Arca book, according to the New York Stock Exchange, represents "a troubling shift by the SEC from its core mission of ensuring the long-term health of financial markets to an agenda of regulatory overreach, prioritizing the interests of powerful Wall Street interests over those of retail investors and listed companies." The NYSE believes the SEC's decision will not withstand the NYSE's challenge, and doesn't believe there will be any immediate change to the products that the NYSE delivers to customers or their associated fees, it said.
The Cyber Cafe
Cybersecurity news every Friday
FICO, Chamber of Commerce release tool to score businesses on cybersecurity
The tool, called the Assessment of Business Cybersecurity (ABC), uses an algorithm known as the FICO Cyber Risk Score to determine how secure a business or business sector is. The algorithm considers factors like the health of a company's network infrastructure and the scope of their internet-exposed systems to reach a score, similar to a credit score.

What are the biggest cybersecurity trends of 2018?
The answer to that question, from Chris Evans, head of security at Dropbox, includes the use of SaaS software, and hiring cybersecurity professionals.

SEC warns corporate cyber weakness could violate federal law
Public companies that fail to tighten their cyber security controls could be violating federal law, the Securities and Exchange Commission said. The regulator's warning came in the form of a report on its investigation to assess whether nine companies that had been victims of cyber-related frauds had sufficient internal accounting controls in place as required by law.  
Binge reading disorder
Hand-curated, chosen with love
Buckle up! Here's a timeline of George Soros conspiracy theories
With his latest  tweet about "Soros-funded" Kavanaugh protesters , President Trump was kicking it old school. After all, the George-Soros-as-most-evil-man-on-earth meme started in the early 1990s as one of the first disinformation campaigns of the post-Soviet empire. (Of course, it all goes back to Russia.)

Your first 90 days in hell
Hell recently did away with assigned seating, opting instead for 'activity-based workstations,' which have proved a very effective form of psychological torture.

The Onion's guide to blockchain technology
Blockchain technology forms the foundation for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum, but it can be difficult to understand how it actually works. The Onion answers common questions about blockchain technology.
- The Onion