Week InReview
Friday | May 14, 2021
Digital Nomads.
Photo: jacoblund/iStock; Artturi Jalli/Unsplash; Alex Azabache/Pexels
The typical business traveler of the future might not be boarding a plane or checking into a hotel because they have to visit a client or attend a conference. No, they might be on the road because the want to take advantage of the ability to work anywhere and treat hotels as temporary offices and homes.

— Fast Company
let's recap...
Houses sit in floodwater caused by Hurricane Florence, in this aerial picture, on the outskirts of Lumberton, North Carolina, U.S. September 17, 2018.
Photo: Jason Miczek/Reuters
The U.S. Federal Reserve has asked lenders to start providing information on the measures they are taking to mitigate climate change-related risks to their balance sheets, according to four people with knowledge of the matter. (Reuters | May 13)

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has a blunt message for investors in mutual funds that have holdings in Bitcoin futures: Beware of the risks. While the derivatives have become increasingly popular, they’re still based on an asset that’s “highly speculative” and volatile, and which trades in a lightly regulated market, the SEC’s division of investment management said Tuesday in a statement. (Bloomberg Cryptocurrencies | May 11) see also World’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange face probe by U.S. money-laundering and tax sleuths (Bloomberg Cryptocurrencies | May 13)

Brexit forced Britain to relinquish 2.3 trillion pounds ($3.25 trillion) in monthly derivatives trading, leaving New York the global winner in a shake-up of that market, consultants Deloitte and data company IHS Markit said in a report on Tuesday. (Reuters | May 11)

When Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently made the innocuous observation that the Federal Reserve might at some point have to increase interest rates to keep inflation in check, financial markets became so flustered that she had to revise her comments. She was right the first time. I would go even further: Not only will the Fed have to raise rates, but rates are likely to go much higher than investors anticipate. (Bloomberg Finance - opinion | May 10)

Will the surge in consumer prices this year be a temporary blip or the start of a much more prolonged period of higher inflation? That is the debate raging on Wall Street – and among Washington policymakers – as the post-pandemic economic rebound looks set to accelerate this year. Investors have grown more attuned to the risk of rising inflation since the start of 2021, when politicians cleared the path for another massive dose of fiscal stimulus. (Financial Times | May 10) see also 'Transitory U.S. inflation seen lasting for months (Bloomberg Economics | May 12)
the cyber cafe
Photo: Hyungwon Kang/Reuters
Direct address
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, using subpoena power under new authority granted in January, requested information last week from a critical infrastructure company about vulnerabilities to a specific hack. CISA didn't name the company or the nature of the potential exploitation. Before January, the agency could relay such a warning only through a third party. Public and private-sector officials have urged more direct communication about cyber threats.
— CyberScoop

U.S. cyber order to boost federal defenses against hacks
U.S. agencies and software contractors that supply them are now required to boost their defenses against cyberattacks that officials say pose a growing threat to national security and public safety. The effort is intended to reorient the federal government’s approach to cybersecurity around prevention rather than crisis response, a senior administration official said.
The executive order mandates the following: 
  • Baseline cybersecurity standards for U.S. agencies and their software contractors, including directives to use multi-factor authentication and data encryption.
  • A requirement that federal information technology vendors to disclose certain data about hacks.
  • Creation of a cybersecurity safety review board, to be led by a mix of government and private-sector cybersecurity experts. The board will be empowered to investigate significant cyber intrusions and publish security recommendations.

U.S., U.K. reveal code flaws abused by SolarWinds hackers
The U.S. and U.K. released details on Friday about how Russia’s foreign intelligence service operates in cyberspace – the latest effort to try to disrupt future attacks – in a Friday report authored jointly by the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre and three U.S. agencies, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the National Security Agency. The report contains technical resources about the group’s tactics, including breaching email in order to find passwords and other information to further infiltrate organizations, in addition to providing software flaws commonly exploited by the hackers. It also offers details about how network administrators can counter the attackers’ tactics.
binge reading disorder
Photo: Oswald El-Saboath/Pexels
The four habits of the happiest people
There are a number of simple tweaks you can make to improve your happiness levels immediately, and build habits that put you on the path to long-term happiness:
  1. Take stock
  2. Create a "words to live by" list
  3. Start your morning on your own terms
  4. Follow the sparks

Inside the secretive Swiss bank for the world’s richest people. 
In its entire history, only 43 individuals – all men, all white – have risen to the rank of Pictet managing partner, creating a bond more enduring than your typical marriage. In the mythology of private banking, Banque Pictet & Cie SA stands apart. Over the course of more than two centuries, the Swiss institution has discreetly tended to the assets of the very rich, led by a small crop of partners who form the most exclusive men-only club anywhere outside the Vatican.
— Bloomberg

The 60-year-old scientific screwup that helped Covid kill
All pandemic long, scientists brawled over how the virus spreads. Droplets! No, aerosols! At the heart of the fight was a teensy error with huge consequences. Eventually, the CDC made changes to its Covid-19 guidance, placing the inhalation of aerosols at the top of its list of how the disease spreads. 
— Wired
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