Week InReview
Friday | Jun 12, 2020
The office reimagined.
Employers are trying to create offices where their employees will feel safe. So what might office workers return to? Social distancing and sanitizing, but also better air quality and soothing soundscapes.

in case you missed it...
Mortgage investors can take heart knowing the Federal Reserve considers agency MBS a primary arena through which to conduct monetary policy. The central bank has purchased agency mortgage bonds at a record pace totaling $719 billion  –  just over $12 billion a day on average  –  according to data from the New York Fed. While the amount of buying over such a short time frame has been surprising, the banks re-entry into the MBS market was not. (Bloomberg Markets | Jun 10)

Finra CAT revealed that 320 firms have begun reporting into the production environment of the Consolidated Audit Trail since April 13, while 1,208 firms are certified and ready to meet the June 22 deadline for initial equities reporting. (WatersTechnology | Jun 10)

The stock rebound from the depths of pandemic despair is giving Wall Street the lesson of a lifetime on the sheer tenacity of cross-asset bulls. As the investing world shifts from depression to V-shaped recovery bets, the pros look set to join the  mom-and-pop  rally that helped push the S&P 500 into positive territory for the year. (Bloomberg Markets | Jun 9)

The U.S. government needs to take better care of the dollar. The era of the U.S. dollar’s “exorbitant privilege” as the world’s primary reserve currency is coming to an end. Then French Finance Minister Valery Giscard d’Estaing coined that phrase in the 1960s largely out of frustration, bemoaning a U.S. that drew freely on the rest of the world to support its over-extended standard of living. For almost 60 years, the world complained but did nothing about it. Those days are over. (Bloomberg Politics & Policy  –  opinion | Jun 9)

The Federal Reserve is about to launch a $600 billion gambit to save swaths of U.S. businesses and tens of millions of jobs threatened by the Covid-19 crisis. Wall Street is far from confident the Fed can pull it off. At issue is the Main Street Lending Program, a high-stakes juggling act whose success likely hinges on multiple factors: companies lining up for loans that come with punitive strings attached. (Bloomberg Markets | Jun 6)
Fannie-Freddie regulator extends Covid relief efforts to July 31
(Jun 11)  —  The Federal Housing Finance Agency said in a Thursday statement that several loan origination flexibilities being offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac due to the Covid-19 pandemic will be extended until at least the end of July.

The extension applies to alternative appraisals for new mortgages and refinancings, alternative methods for verifying employment before loan closings, expanded use of power of attorney and remote online notarizations, and authority to purchase loans in forbearance.

the cyber cafe
Plundering of crypto keys from ultrasecure SGX sends Intel scrambling again
Intel is rolling out updates  –  known as SGAxe and CrossTalk -- that address exploits targeting the Software Guard Extension in Intel processors, but they are not necessarily installed automatically.
—  Ars Technica

Microsoft fixes 129 bugs in largest patch release
Eleven of the bugs addressed are categorized as Critical, and 118 are classified Important. The vulnerabilities exist in Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer, Edge browser, ChakraCore, Office, Office Services and Web Apps, Windows Defender, Microsoft Dynamics, Visual Studio, Azure DevOps, and Microsoft Apps for Android. None are publicly known or under active attack.
—  Dark Reading

U.S. Homeland Security issues Windows 10 warning
Windows 10 users who have not installed updates are vulnerable to an exploit known as SMBGhost, which affects the component that links Windows with file servers, printers and other devices. The warning comes from the Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), whose cybersecurity advisory unit discovered exploit code for the "wormable" bug online.
—  TechRadar
binge reading disorder
THE COOTIE CORNER | Can I trust my antibody test result? 
Not all antibody tests are created equal. The results often depend on the test's sensitivity, as well as the prevalence of Covid-19 in the population. Their reliability for any one person comes down to a matter of probability, which is why some doctors and public-health authorities are still hesitant to recommend antibody tests. An interactive graphic shows the probability of a false positive, based on different variables like test sensitivity, and the prevalence of the virus in your community.

No, the jobs report wasn't rigged. Here's what happened.
When the Labor Department reported last Friday that  employers had added jobs in May  and that the unemployment rate had unexpectedly fallen, economists were surprised. Others had a different reaction: suspicion.

The May jobs report doesn't say what we think it says
Everyone wants certainty; few of us have it. Sometimes, however, confusion can be its own form of clarity, which is precisely what we ought to glean from the most recent employment report for the United States.
—  Time
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