Week InReview
Friday | May 8, 2020
Counting one's blessings.
Reminding ourselves what we’re grateful for is one of the most powerful ways we can boost what mental-health experts call the psychological immune system. Researchers use the concept to describe a set of emotional processes that help protect our mental health, just as the physiological immune system aims to safeguard our physical health. A strong psychological immune system keeps us mentally resilient.

— The Wall Street Journal
in case you missed it...
The Securities and Exchange Commission ordered the nation’s stock exchanges Wednesday to give stockbrokers and investors greater input into how real-time stock prices are distributed. The SEC issued the directive after hearing for years that the New York Stock Exchange and other market centers have too much control over the packaging and pricing of information about trades and share prices. (The Wall Street Journal | May 6)

Investors are particularly scrutinizing how U.S. companies have managed their workforces during the crisis to determine how ready they are for future global emergencies. Issues include offering paid sick leave, counseling, protective equipment and the option to work from home. (The Wall Street Journal | May 6)

On the eve of the biggest boom in U.S. bond sales since World War II, cracks are appearing in the exclusive Wall Street club responsible for ensuring the market functions smoothly. For decades, the firms, known as primary dealers, have sat at the nexus of the Treasuries market, buying newly issued bonds to disseminate throughout financial markets and trading directly with the Federal Reserve. This relationship has helped the Fed implement its policy goals, yet the implosions of recent months suggest that the group is under duress. (Bloomberg Markets | May 5)

For years, the Federal Reserve warned that too many highly risky companies were engaging in fuzzy accounting that bumped up their earnings —  making it easier for them to obtain loans. The practice was driving up corporate debt to excessive and worrisome levels, regulators chastised. But now, in its latest effort to keep credit flowing, the Fed has done a remarkable about-face. It essentially endorsed the dubious practice with a program that may serve to bail out some of America’s most leveraged companies. (Bloomberg Economics | May 5)

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced on its website Monday that it expects to begin purchasing shares of eligible ETFs in early May through its Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility. Lending through the Fed’s Primary- and secondary-market corporate credit facilities via purchases of corporate bonds will begin soon thereafter, it said. ETFs are included in the secondary facility and the program’s announcement in March had a major impact on that market. (Bloomberg Markets | May 4)
‘Sell in May’ maxim in focus as S&P 500 flashes warning
(May 4)  —  It’s May and, once again, the question becomes: Do you sell and go away? After its best month in more than 33 years, the S&P 500 Index triggered its first sell signal since late March on Friday, according to the GTI VERA Convergence Divergence Indicator, a technical measure which detects trend exhaustion. With many countries starting to ease Covid-19 lockdowns, investors are likely to remain on edge amid a steady stream of bad economic data and fears of a second wave of infection.

Source: Bloomberg Government
the cyber cafe
LockBit, the new ransomware for hire: a sad and cautionary tale
report published by McAfee  documents the effectiveness of this newcomer ransomware. Incident responders with  Northwave Intelligent Security Operations  aided in the analysis. LockBit is most prevalent in countries including the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Ukraine, China, India, and Indonesia.
—  ArsTechnica

Ransomware mentioned in 1,000+ SEC filings over past year
A growing number of public companies are now listing ransomware as a forward-looking risk factor in documents filed with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission. Ransomware is now regularly mentioned in annual reports (10K and 20F), quarterly reports (10Q), special event filings (8K and 6K), and registration forms (S1) filed with the US regulator.
—  ZDNet

RDP brute-force attacks have gone up since start of Covid-19
Cyber-security firm Kaspersky says the number of brute-force attacks targeting RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) endpoints rose sharply since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. According to a report, RDP brute-force attacks increased last month, when most countries around the globe imposed quarantines and stay-at-home orders, forcing companies to deploy more RDP systems online, increasing the attack surface for hackers.
—  ZDNet
binge reading disorder
The office you left is not the one you will return to
Your first day headed back to the office will likely feel different from the minute you wake up. The lack of widespread testing in the U.S. has left it up to employers to minimize spread among workers.

A guide to grocery delivery during the Covid-19 pandemic — and after
Here are the times to avoid ordering online and the differences between nationwide services — plus why delivery-checker browser extensions aren’t a good idea.

Will travel change after the coronavirus?
Experts in the fields of aviation, hospitality, cruising, finance, and even  epidemiology provide predictions and projections. The one thing that almost all of them said to expect is a lot more uncertainty for some time to come.
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