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January 27, 2014

Weil on Finance: Brian Krebs Knows Security

“Happy Monday, View fans. Here are your morning links.

“Michaels Stores got scooped on its own data hacking.

“Don’t bother waiting for huge retailers to disclose that they lost their customers’ data to hackers. Just read Brian Krebs, who writes the blog “KrebsOnSecurity.” Michaels Stores issued a statement over the weekend saying it “may have experienced a data security attack.” Krebs already had broken the story by then. Here’s the opening sentence from his scoop: “Multiple sources in the banking industry say they are tracking a pattern of fraud on cards that were all recently used at Michaels Stores Inc., an Irving, Texas-based arts-and-crafts retailer that maintains more than 1,250 stores across the United States.”

“Preparing the world for the Fed’s taper caper.

“Good piece here by Alhambra Investment Partners, which posits that the Federal Reserve has limited control over its policies’ effects: “Last week was a great demonstration of the unintended consequences of the Fed’s taper caper. The Fed has taken pains to inform the entire planet that ending QE isn’t what matters. What matters according to the Fed is that they will hold interest rates low for a very long time. Unfortunately, it appears that there are some investors around the world who disagree. When tapering was first floated last spring the impact on emerging markets was immediate and severe. Currencies in vulnerable countries -– primarily those running current account deficits -– came under pressure and even the great kiting of US stocks was interrupted, if only temporarily. I’m not the only one who thinks the Fed’s decision to delay tapering in September was at least partially a nod to these troubles and was intended to give these countries a chance to prepare better for the end of a policy that has outlived its usefulness.”

***

Eric Holder said something really funny the other day.

“The U.S. attorney general said no bank is “too big to indict.” Good one, huh? Dennis Kelleher of the reform-minded nonprofit group Better Markets got a kick out of it, too, and set things straight: “It’s hard not to be skeptical after five years of inexcusable failure to bring a single criminal action against the wealthy, powerful and politically well-connected too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks for conduct related to causing the worst financial crash since 1929, which caused the worst economy since the Great Depression.”

***

Read full Bloomberg article here

 
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