Week InReview

Pick Your Brexit

More than two years since the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, negotiations with Brussels have hit a wall and voters are scratching their heads trying to understand what's happening. Here's a game that allows you to play the role of prime minister. Could you do better than Theresa May? Outcomes vary from a general election to a second referendum, and if you make the right choices, a deal! Click  here  to play the Brexit challenge.

Friday | Aug 24, 2018
Short squeeze roils Wall Street's favorite bond trade
A robust August rally in the Treasury market is foiling one of Wall Street's most popular trades, a bet that solid U.S. economic growth, rising inflation and eroding government finances will compel investors around the world to sell bonds. (The Wall Street Journal | Aug 23)

CFTC simplifies rules for chief compliance officers
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission unanimously approved rules this week that simplify the regulations governing chief compliance officers of swap dealers, major swap participants and futures commission merchants. The CFTC will synchronize its regulations on chief compliance officers with that of the requirements adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission for security-based swap dealers. (The Wall Street Journal | Aug 22)

Interest-rate derivatives market continues to grow
The interest-rate derivatives market grew in the first half of this year, with traded notional rising 23.2% compared with the same period last year, reaching $125.8 trillion, according to ISDA. Trade count increased 16.4%, reaching 701,189. (Securities Lending Times | Aug 20)

Meet the straders: Wall Street erases the line between its jocks and nerds
There used to be a strict hierarchy: Traders made money and won glory while programmers wrote code and stayed out of sight. Those days are over. (Wall Street Journal | Aug 18)

Cost of junk debt casts doubt on US expansion
Concerns that further increases in interest rates could spark trouble for the market. The deterioration in riskier company balance sheets comes after a surge in borrowing by groups in recent years, boosting their reliance on floating rate debt as they have taken advantage of low funding costs and a hefty appetite for their obligations by lenders. (Financial Times | Aug 16)
The Cyber Cafe
Cybersecurity news every Friday
The latest thing you need to worry about cybercriminals hacking? Your voice.
The shift to voice biometrics and speech-controlled systems is raising the risk of voice cloning and subliminal attacks.  "Voice hacking" can take many forms, but in most cases it is an effort by an attacker to copy an individual's unique " voiceprint " in order to steal his or her identity or to use hidden audio commands to target a speech-controlled system.

Looming New York cyber rules may hit small companies hardest
New York's new cybersecurity rules for banks, insurance companies, and registered cryptocurrency groups - effective Sept. 4 - may leave small and medium-sized financial institutions struggling to comply. Many larger companies already follow at least some of the new mandatory practices.

Experts outline a need for more secure chips, computers
Presentations at the annual Hot Chips conference in Silicon Valley are focused on the security of chip and computing architectures, in the wake of revelations this year on the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities in many processors. Microsoft and Google each proposed hardware security architectures that could eliminate the eed to patch such cybersecurity flaws.
Using munis as crisis bulwark
Rule says they can count as liquid assets
(Aug 22) -- Banks can use certain municipal securities to deal with a liquidity crisis, according to a new deregulatory rule, which allows munis that are liquid, readily marketable, and investment grade to be treated as assets under the three banking agencies' 2014 liquidity coverage ratio (LCR). The rule should help big banks that have a lot of munis on their balance sheet to comply with the agencies' liquidity requirements. The interim final rule by the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is subject to a 30-day comment period. The liquidity coverage ratio requires banks to have enough easy-to-sell assets on their books as a buffer against a financial crisis.

Binge reading disorder
Hand-curated, chosen with love
Bribes, backdoor deals and pay-to-play: How bad rosé took over
A sommelier opens up about the shady business practices that are behind the rise of watery, terrible rosé.
The cognitive biases tricking your brain
Science suggests we're hardwired to delude ourselves. Can we do anything about it?
Yuval Noah Harari on what the year 2050 has in store for humankind
"As the pace of change increases, the very meaning of being human is likely to mutate and physical and cognitive structures will melt."