Week InReview
Friday | Jun 4, 2021
Grounded no more.
Offices aren’t dead. And business travel isn’t dead either.
Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Some companies that learned to do without travel during the coronavirus pandemic said they are ready to get back on the road instead of defaulting to virtual meetings and conferences, while others are trying to determine which business trips are still needed.

Corporate trips remain 70% or more below pre-pandemic levels, according to airlines, which rely heavily on business travel for a huge share of their revenue. But carriers including American and United Airlines said the pace of business travel bookings has been picking up in recent weeks.

— The Wall Street Journal
let's recap...
David Swensen realized back in the 1980s that a 60/40 portfolio was a bad idea.
Photo: Peter Foley/Bloomberg
Institutional money managers are grappling with a grim investing outlook, sending them on a hunt for the next big idea decades after the late David Swensen triggered a revolution when he arrived at Yale’s endowment in 1985. It is a pressing problem. Asset allocators like Swensen – who steer big institutional pools of money like pension plans, endowments or sovereign wealth funds – are facing one of the trickiest investing landscapes in history.   (Financial Times | Jun 3)

The pandemic has crushed commercial real estate, and there’s no sign that’s going to change even as the coronavirus recedes in some countries. But there’s a $10 billion bright spot for the embattled industry. (Bloomberg | Jun 2)

The U.S. junk bond market has begun wavering on rising inflation worries, raising the risk that the powerful rally since the depths of the pandemic in the debt issued by the riskiest corporate borrowers may be coming to an end. (Financial Times | Jun 1)

The only bond kings and queens over the past half-century since credit was unleashed from its gold standard in the early 1970s have been the U.S. Federal Reserve chairs. There never has been an investor that could move bond markets with a large enough wallet to make a difference. The Fed chair with the ammunition of the global currency has been sitting on the monetary throne for the past 50 years. (Financial Times - opinion | Jun 1)

U.S. financial authorities are preparing to take a more active role in regulating the $1.5tn cryptocurrency market as concern grows that a lack of proper oversight risks harming savers and investors. The new head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency says agencies should set a ‘regulatory perimeter’ for digital coins. (Financial Times | May 31)
Quarles says banks' leverage rules don't work in current system
Randal Quarles, Federal Reserve board member and vice chair for supervision.
Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters
(Jun 1) — Federal Reserve Vice Chair Randal Quarles, who also chairs the Financial Stability Board, said Wall Street leverage restrictions probably need to be changed in response to the scale of Fed bond buying during the pandemic.
  • Current limits on banks’ indebtedness don’t square with the amount of reserves that lenders are expected to hold at the Fed, Quarles said Tuesday during an online event with Politico
  • “Likely, something will need to be done,” he said
  • For months, the Fed has been examining whether it should propose a new rule for the supplementary leverage ratio
  • “Right now, the system can’t hold the amount of cash it has without a change,” Quarles said
  • The vice chair also addressed climate change, saying the ability to fully assess banks’ risks remains a distant goal, though the Fed is working on the topic with global regulators

Source: Bloomberg Government
the cyber cafe
Power grids are big targets.
Photo: Alexei Pavlishak/Tass vis Getty Images
Cyberwar: How nations attack without bullets or bombs
Russia, Iran, China, and the U.S. are among the world’s leading practitioners of cyberwarfare — state-on-state hacking to gain strategic or military advantage by disrupting or destroying data or physical infrastructure. Unlike combat with bullets and bombs, cyberwarfare is waged almost entirely with stealth and subterfuge, so it’s hard to know when and where it’s occurring, or whether full-scale cyberwar is on the horizon.

Hacker lexicon: What is a supply chain attack?
What if the legitimate hardware and software that makes up your network has been compromised at the source? That insidious and increasingly common form of hacking is known as a "supply chain attack," a technique in which an adversary slips malicious code or even a malicious component into a trusted piece of software or hardware. From NotPetya to SolarWinds, it’s a problem that’s not going away any time soon.
— Wired

The makings of a better cybersecurity hire
Cybersecurity is a complex discipline that evolves and expands at an exponential rate alongside the digital revolution. Cybersecurity is about teamwork. The discipline is ever-changing and all-encompassing. Hence, the successful CISOs of the future will be those who can see the broader threats and compose the best teams to address them — and that means looking outside the box for qualified, motivated candidates.
binge reading disorder
The hulk of a 1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8 S Drophead Coupé.
Source: Bonhams
This crumpled, derelict Jaguar sold for six times its value
Some cars are so special that even if you find the scattered pieces of one, you should buy it, says Jay Leno. That philosophy certainly applied to a 1960 Jaguar XK150 S that sold for $127,552 in a Bonhams auction May 22. The hammer price on the crumpled, patina-riddled drophead coupe was six times over the sale estimate.

Welcome back Mondays, in a hybrid work environment
Many leaders fear that even when employees choose to go back to the office, they will most certainly do it Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (which are already the most popular days in the office pre-Covid according to our recent impact report). That would leave Monday and Friday feeling like a ghost town. Some are expressing the idea that maybe the office should be closed Monday and Friday to reduce the cost of operations, but is that the best solution?

The Covid trauma has changed economics — maybe forever. 
Policymakers learned the lessons of 2008 and deployed a wider set of tools to help repair the damage from Covid. They know how to create a recovery, but can they manage the boom?
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