Week InReview
Friday | May 22, 2020
It's the stuff you don't see coming that gets you.
One of the most frustrating and terrifying things about this pandemic is its unpredictability. From its effects to how it spreads, it keeps surprising us, usually in unpleasant ways. News out of China suggesting the coronavirus may have  mutated  in a new wave there is the latest example — though it could also be an example of the misinformation and conclusions-jumping the disease’s mysterious nature inspires.
— Bloomberg Technology & Ideas (opinion)
in case you missed it...
The struggles of a U.S. electronics recycler looking for a $10 million lifeline is exposing a weakness in the $700 billion market for collateralized loan obligations. CLO managers have limited scope to provide rescue financing, which allow other firms to profit at their expense. (Bloomberg Markets | May 21)

The algorithms that dealers use to buy and sell bonds with their customers failed in March at the height of extreme volatility from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to investors and price data. The nimble analysis of flesh-and-blood traders was suddenly needed to price bonds, edging out machines that normally can trade large portions of the market without any human input. (Bloomberg Markets | May 20)

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s regulator is proposing that the mortgage giants be required to hold hundreds of billions of dollars in capital to guard against losses, a step that could have an impact on mortgage interest rates and on the administration’s efforts to free the companies from U.S. control. The FHFA outlined buffers needed to exit government control. (Bloomberg Markets | May 20) see also Fannie, Freddie seek financial advisers for exiting U.S. control (Bloomberg Markets | May 18)

As the Federal Reserve pulls out all the stops to bolster credit markets, corporate America is gorging on debt. The Fed’s credit-market support is staving off bankruptcies, yet it may also be setting the economy up for long-term pain. (Bloomberg Markets | May 19)

When Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff published their heavyweight history of financial crises in late 2009, the title was ironic. This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly reminded readers that the catastrophic 2008-09 credit crisis was far from unique. And yet a little more than a decade later, we’re experiencing what appears to be a one-of-a-kind crisis. (Bloomberg | May 18)
the cyber cafe
Security flaw could be exploited to take control of Bluetooth devices
A group of academic researchers have discovered a new vulnerability in the Bluetooth wireless protocol that affects almost all Bluetooth enabled devices. The vulnerability, which they refer to as Bluetooth Impersonation AttackS (BIAS), impacts the classic version of the Bluetooth protocol that is used by low power devices to transfer data and is commonly referred to as Bluetooth Classic.

WannaCry virus: Lessons unlearned
If there is a lesson from the WannaCry incident, it's this: Companies that use outdated systems and do not rigorously patch those systems are at risk, not just for data breaches which firms have historically shrugged off but for attacks by operations-disrupting ransomware.
—  Dark Reading

Security expert: Hacking is about manipulating perception
Cyberattacks aren't just about profit and disruption, cybersecurity specialist Ralph Echemendia says  —  they're about manipulating people's perceptions of reality using deepfakes and other artificial intelligence tools. "We live in a virtual reality world right now, and you don't need goggles," he told the annual Cybersecurity & Content Protection Summit.
binge reading disorder
How to keep your glasses clear when wearing a mask
Everybody who wears glasses knows the problem: They fog up when you’re also wearing a mask. Here is a simple way to clear things up: Line the inside top edge of your mask with a facial tissue, and you’ll be seeing clearly.

The day coronavirus nearly broke the financial markets
March 16 was the day a microscopic virus brought the financial system to the brink. Few realized how close it came to going over the edge entirely. The stock crash that day was part of a broader liquidity crisis that threatened the viability of America’s companies and municipalities.

How far will asset management pay fall?
Johnson Associates projects steep declines in asset management compensation, with hedge funds spared from some of the pain. Johnson’s latest projections have 2020 incentive compensation at traditional asset management declining by 20 to 25 percent. The pay cuts come as assets under management have fallen across the board, with investors fleeing stocks and bonds and rushing into money market funds or cash.
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