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

Here’s the deal: Morgan Stanley was just fined $35 million for “astonishing” failures that led to the mishandling of sensitive data on some 15 million customers, writes my colleague Matt Egan.

The mistake? Throw away old computers without erasing hard drives.

In an episode described by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Morgan Stanley hired a removal company – which had “no experience or expertise” in destroying data – to decommission thousands of hard drives and servers containing the customer data.

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

The SEC didn’t mince words in exposing Morgan Stanley’s missteps.

His “failures in this matter are astonishing,” Gurbir Grewal, director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said in a statement. “If not properly protected, this sensitive information can end up in the wrong hands and have disastrous consequences for investors.”

So yeah, that was pretty dumb. But it’s important to note that the SEC is not alleging anything criminal. did happen, just that Could have.

Morgan Stanley agreed to pay the fine without admitting or denying the settlement’s findings.

“We have already notified affected customers of these issues, which occurred several years ago, and we have not detected any unauthorized access or misuse of customers’ personal information,” Morgan Stanley said in a statement.

Another way of saying this is this: we were lucky and no bad actors managed to exploit the data that we carelessly leaked to the public, as far as we know.

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


We’re three quarters into 2022, and the hangover of 2020 is still hampering the auto industry.

Here’s the deal: Ford is now stuck with no less than 45,000 large pickup trucks and SUVs that it can’t finish because, well, it doesn’t have all the parts… ring fencing? It should, because it’s been going on for over two years.

The company warned late Monday that supply shortages and rising prices 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 on a) are we in a recession yet? and b) how bad will it be?

We had a really fun to try to explain why the US isn’t technically in a recession right now, even after two straight quarters of negative growth. ICYMI: This oft-quoted guideline has a lot of caveats and is not a hard and fast rule. And anyone looking at the current labor market, with near-record unemployment, as well as resilient consumer spending, wouldn’t logically call it a recession.

This does not mean that the fears have disappeared.

Take FedEx, which led a sell-off late last week when it cut its forecast and warned of a global slowdown. He is not alone. Earlier this month, the CEO of luxury home goods retailer RH (aka Restoration Hardware) said “anyone who thinks we’re not in a recession is crazy” and added that the housing market is in a slowdown that “has only just begun”. Best Buy’s CFO avoided the R-word, but used the kind of business jargon – “current trends in the macro environment could be even more difficult” – that amounts to a wake-up call.

Chip equipment leader Applied Materials had other euphemisms to scare off investors last month, saying some of its customers are in slowdown mode “as macro uncertainty and weakness in large electronics public and PCs are pushing these companies to postpone certain orders”.

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

Analysts and companies are already cutting their outlook, suggesting the third quarter could be the worst for earnings since 2020, when the pandemic crippled the economy.

So yeah, it’s not great. But it’s not bad at 2008 levels. And there’s a potential upside, says Paul. The housing market looks set to slow rather than collapse following the 07-08 subprime mortgage crisis.

Do you like the nightcap? Register and you’ll get all of this, plus other fun internet stuff we’ve loved, delivered to your inbox every night. (OK, most nights – we believe in a four-day work week here.)

Comments are closed.