Week InReview

The Digital Planet

It is barely 20 years since Sergey Brin and Larry Page registered the domain name Google, and only 10 years since Steve Jobs walked onto a stage in San Francisco and introduced the iPhone. Yet in this short period, digital technologies have upended our world. The Digital Evolution Index  traces the emergence of a "digital planet," how physical interactions - in communications, social and political exchange, commerce, media and entertainment - are being displaced by digitally mediated ones. There are many hotspots around the world where these changes are happening rapidly and other spots where momentum has slowed.
Fri Jul 21, 2017
Let's recap
In case you missed it . . .
Stocks' risk-adjusted returns beating bonds; individual, systematic investors may spur swing out of bonds (Jul 21)

SEC cuts its rulemaking agenda by about half
The list includes an exchange transaction fee pilot program and rulemaking to simplify the agency's Regulation S-K governing non-financial disclosures. Missing from the docket are proposed Dodd-Frank Act rules on the orderly liquidation of large broker-dealers and disclosure pay versus performance. (Jul 20)

Conflicting regulations hamper CLO risk retention
Two pieces of regulation designed to protect investors could make it more difficult and expensive for funds to lend to mid-sized US companies as managers try to meet rules that require them to hold some of their funds' risk (Jul 20)

Fannie-Freddie reform hinges on keeping small lenders happy
Trade groups want to keep big bank dominance from returning; groups believe current system is best, but still needs new law (Jul 20)

FINRA seeks to raise pressure on firms hiring rogue brokers, avoiding arbitration payments
Board advances proposals to amend membership applications to allow the self-regulator to scrutinize troubled brokers, pending monetary awards (Jul 19)

DOL withdraws filings in support of anti-arbitration condition
The DOL is removing documents it once filed in court to support the fiduciary rule's anti-arbitration condition, which is intended to prevent investors from pursuing class litigation against financial advisers (Jul 17)
The Cyber Cafe
Cybersecurity news every Friday.
Tillerson is said to shut cyber office in State's reorganization
Cyber coordinator helped negotiate 2015 pact with China; office will be merged into bureau handling economic affairs
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Bloomberg Politics

Companies need to step up their cybersecurity game
Do you have the right people, processes, and technologies to protect your business from cyber threats? A good place to start is to review the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework, which has become a benchmark for what to do both nationally and across the globe.  

The 3 most in-demand cybersecurity jobs of 2017
Amid a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals, here are the three positions in the field that companies are seeking out the most, according to tech staffing firm Mondo
OCC ready to rethink Volcker Rule:
Acting Chief Noreika
(Jul 19) -- Acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika said the OCC may issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, and a request for comments, on overhauling the Volcker Rule, which limits proprietary trading by banks. The notice could be issued within a few weeks, without coordinating with other financial regulators. In a speech at the Exchequer Club in Washington, Noreika said he w ould ask, "What's right or what's wrong with the rule? What would you change? How would you change it? And do you have any data to support that?" Although the OCC may propose a rule and seek comments, before any major changes could be made, the OCC would need input from the four other Volcker Rule agencies (the Fed, FDIC, SEC and CFTC).
Binge reading disorder
Hand-curated, chosen with love.
A grand unified theory of avocado toast
In this age of American division, few insults cut as much as the idea that your fortune may be hostage to the menu price of avocados.

The financial industry needs to start planning for the next 50 years, not the next five
Despite rapid innovations in data processing and machine learning, many businesses have yet to make the leap from the Industrial Age to the information age, and the gap between technological and organizational progress is widening .

In urban China, cash is rapidly becoming obsolete
There is an audacious economic phenomenon happening in China; i t has nothing to do with debt, infrastructure spending or the other major economic topics du jour.