US

(Washington)

The SEC has announced an eye-opening revelation—its online EDGAR filing system was hacked in 2016, and the hackers may have used the data to execute trades on non-public information. The hack did not involve any personal information, but the corporate results taken may have allowed the hackers to make “illicit gains” in the stock market. The report on the hacking was unusual and posted by the SEC near 8 pm in the form of an eight-page statement from SEC chief Clayton.


FINSUM: No report yet on the size of the gains, which may have been major. Will we go back to paper filing? (only half kidding)

(Houston)

One of the big head-scratchers of the real estate market the last few years, especially following our natural disasters of late, has been that home price appreciation has been highest in areas prone to natural dangers. Since 2012, counties at the greatest risk of hurricanes, earthquakes, and other catastrophes saw the highest overall price appreciation, with home prices rising 55% on average. Homes that have ocean or mountain views are very sought after, and may implicitly come with higher risk, explaining the trend. Additionally, the riskiest 20% of counties have the most homes, so population density and scarcity may be another factor.


FINSUM: We expect that buyers are going to start paying more attention to natural disasters after this year, but it is hard to imagine that making much of a dent in prices except in hard-hit markets like Houston.

(New York)

Equifax, one of the largest credit-reporting companies, announced yesterday that it has suffered an epically large data hack. Over a period of more than two months, hackers stole mountains of personal data on 143m consumers. Other than Yahoo, this would be the largest hack on record in terms of personal information taken. Additionally, the hackers were able to take a bundle of info on each consumer, maker it much easier to commit fraud than when one only gets fragments on many. Equifax said that hackers got info including names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and addresses.


FINSUM: This could be the most damaging hack yet, as Equifax, because of is nature, holds a lot of personal data. The fallout is hard to predict, but it may be extensive.

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