Week InReview
Friday | Oct 2, 2020
#wfh | Glam up that home office.
When the pandemic struck Americans rallied, surveyed their homes, found a table here, a lamp there, some vaguely ergonomic chair and turned a corner of a bedroom, or even a garage, into a workspace. As we venture ever deeper into working from home, it’s becoming clear we need to take these ad hoc, mismatched arrangements more seriously, and even strive to make them chic. 

— The Wall Street Journal
let's recap...
Johannes Eisele/Getty Images
It was considered one of the root causes of the global financial crisis, and regulators have spent over a decade trying to stamp the practice out. Yet Kroll Bond Rating Agency Inc.’s $2 million fine this week shows how in the securitized-debt market, the battle against ratings shopping was never truly won. (Bloomberg Markets | Oct 1)

Global banks are preparing for the possibility that there will be no clear victor on the night of the U.S. presidential election, a scenario that could spark days or weeks of chaos in global equities and fixed income markets, several bankers said. (Reuters | Sep 30)

The Federal Reserve’s strategy to hold interest rates very low for a long time could present officials with a future dilemma: what to do if their policies inflate asset bubbles. (The Wall Street Journal | Sep 30)

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission proposed new rules for electronic trading platforms for U.S. Treasuries, corporate debt, and municipal securities, to address concerns about the shift to alternative trading systems (ATS) that trade government securities as well as the repurchase and reverse repurchase agreements on those securities. (Reuters | Sep 28)

Rules to make money-market mutual funds less susceptible to runs likely need to be improved after a bout of turmoil in March prompted the Fed to intervene, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Treasury Department said. The most recent intervention, in which the Fed began providing liquidity to money-market funds during the coronavirus-induced market panic of March, raised questions about whether the SEC’s 2014 reforms went far enough. (The Wall Street Journal | Sep 29)
Fed proposes update of capital planning requirements for banks
(Sep 30) — The Federal Reserve said an updated proposal reflects a new framework it finalized last year that tailors regulations based on the risks posed by individual banks, according to Wednesday statement. According to the Fed:
  • Capital planning requirements help ensure that banks plan for and determine their capital needs under a range of scenarios
  • The updated proposal reflects the fact that banks in the lowest risk category are on a two-year stress test cycle and are not subject to company-run stress test demands
  • The proposal doesn’t change bank capital levels
  • The Fed will accept comments on its proposal until Nov. 20

Source: Jesse Hamilton, Bloomberg Government
the cyber cafe
Layered security becomes critical as malware attacks rise
Attackers are continuing to leverage evasive and encrypted threats. Zero day malware made up more than two-thirds of the total detections in Q2, while attacks sent over encrypted HTTPS connections accounted for 34%. This means that organizations that are not able to inspect encrypted traffic will miss a massive one-third of incoming threats.

More than two-thirds of EU orgs plan to adopt zero-trust architecture
In response to an evolving threat landscape, 500 IT and security decision makers across Germany, France, and the U.K. indicated in a survey a strong desire to implement a zero-trust architecture. The most important factors in doing so were found to be: to make networks more secure and mitigate risk (54%), to ensure data is better protected and easier to manage (51%), and to reduce the risk of employees compromising the system (49%).

How to properly perform vulnerability assessments at your firm
Instead of waiting to become a victim and reacting to it, a more proactive approach is to regularly perform vulnerability assessments of the devices and services on your network to obtain reports on what issues are found, their degree of severity, and what steps must be taken to correct these vulnerabilities.
binge reading disorder
Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg
Inside the JPMorgan trading desk the U.S. called a crime ring
Billionaires have Davos. For filmmakers, there’s Sundance. For the people who mine and trade and ship everything from iron ore to platinum, there’s London Metal Exchange Week. It’s a blur of symposiums and drinks, with a reliably lavish lunch thrown by JPMorgan Chase & Co. 

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates call this man their 'hero' and 'role model'
A lot of people look up to Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. But who do Buffett and Gates look up to? It's not a trick question. There's one specific person they've both referred to as their "hero." That would be Chuck Feeney. 

A brain trick to make you more creative, intuitive, and happy
In some situations, it would be totally reasonable to use cognitive ease in your favor. Cognitive ease refers, quite simply, to the degree of mental effort required for a given task. Your brain registers “easy” as a sign that things are going well — no threats, no major news, no need to redirect attention or mobilize effort.
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