Analysis: An elite Wall Street bank gets a $35 million lesson: Just call tech support

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The big banks of Wall Street are miserable with highly educated people ripped from the top performers at the world’s top business schools and universities. They are elite and powerful. And sometimes, like everyone else, they do very stupid things.

Here’s the deal: Morgan Stanley has just been fined $35 million for “amazing” failures that led to the misuse of sensitive data on about 15 million customers, writes my colleague Matt Egan.

The mistake? Throw away old computers without wiping the hard drives.

In an episode described by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Morgan Stanley hired a mover — who had “no experience or expertise” in data destruction — to decommission thousands of hard drives and servers containing customer data.

This company later sold thousands of these devices, some of which contained personally identifiable information, to third parties. Eventually, the devices, still laden with sensitive data, ended up on an auction site.

The SEC didn’t mince words when laying out Morgan Stanley’s missteps.

His “failures in this case are astounding,” Gurbir Grewal, director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said in a statement. “If this sensitive information is not properly protected, it can fall into the wrong hands and have disastrous consequences for investors.”

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So yeah, it was pretty stupid. But it’s important to note that the SEC is not making any criminal allegations did happen just that it might have.

Morgan Stanley agreed to pay the fine without admitting or denying the results of the settlement.

“We have previously notified the customers concerned of these matters, which arose several years ago, and have not identified any unauthorized access to or misuse of customer personal information,” Morgan Stanley said in a statement.

In other words, we’ve been lucky and, as far as we know, no evil actor has managed to exploit the data we’ve carelessly shared with the public.

Free advice for next time, y’all: call tech support! We can all be Luddites, boys – it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

We’re three quarters of the way to 2022, and the 2020 hangover is still crippling the auto industry.

Here’s the deal: Ford is now stuck with up to 45,000 full-size pickups and SUVs it can’t finish because it doesn’t have all the parts… sounds familiar? It should, because it’s been running for more than two years.

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The company warned late Monday that shortages and rising prices for supplies will cost it an additional $1 billion this quarter. Ford shares fell 12% on Tuesday.

The $25 trillion question of the year was a variation of a) Are we in a recession yet? and b) how bad will it be?

We had a Yes, really It’s fun to explain why the US isn’t technically in a recession right now, even after two consecutive quarters of negative growth. ICYMI: This often quoted guideline has a number of caveats and is not a hard and fast rule. And anyone looking at the current job market, with unemployment near record lows and consumer spending robust, would logically not call this a recession.

That doesn’t mean the fears are gone.

Take FedEx, which led a massive selloff late last week as it lowered its forecasts and warned of a global slowdown. It’s not alone. Earlier this month, the CEO of luxury home goods retailer RH (aka Restoration Hardware) said that “anyone who thinks we’re not in a recession is crazy,” adding that the housing market is in a downturn, who is “just beginning. Best Buy’s CFO avoided the R-word but used the kind of business jargon — “current trends in the macro environment may be even more challenging” — that sounds like an alarm bell.

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Chip equipment leader Applied Materials had some other euphemisms to freak investors out last month, saying some of its customers are in slowdown mode “as macro uncertainty and weakness in consumer electronics and PCs cause these companies to postpone some orders.”

These are ominous signs, reports my colleague Paul R. La Monica. And there’s likely more to come as companies prepare for next month’s third-quarter earnings season.

Analysts and companies are already lowering their forecasts, raising the prospect that the third quarter could be the worst for earnings since 2020, when the pandemic shut down the economy.

So yeah, it’s not great. But it’s not as bad as 2008. And there’s a potential bright spot, Paul explains. The housing market is more likely to slow down than in the subprime crisis of 07-08. crash.

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