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White House paper on stablecoins / VA & NJ to elect Governors / The Chinese government locked visitors / Psychologist Aaron Beck died at the age of 100 / Facebook said it has shut down a "troll farm"

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1. A new "Report on Stablecoins" by the Biden Administration highlights areas of concern for financial regulators around the legal status of stablecoins and broader questions about the securitization of digital assets.

White House paper on stablecoins

 The report was authored by the President's Working Group on Financial Markets, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. 

 The report defines stablecoins as "digital assets that are designed to maintain a stable value relative to a national currency or other reference assets."

 While it acknowledges the potential benefits of stablecoins, it argues that these cryptocurrencies could lead to: "Market integrity and investor protection risks [that] encompass possible fraud and misconduct in digital asset trading, including market manipulation, insider trading, and front running, as well as a lack of trading or price transparency. 

Where these activities involve complex relationships or significant amounts of leverage, there may also be risks to the broader financial system." 

The report ultimately recommends that: "Congress act promptly to enact legislation to ensure that payment stablecoins and payment stablecoin arrangements are subject to a federal prudential framework on a consistent and comprehensive basis." 

SEC Chair Gary Gensler announced the report in a tweet yesterday. Gensler's tenure as the SEC Chair has seen him taking a public stand on the securitization of digital assets. Gensler is not a critic or skeptic of cryptocurrencies, but he has been a proponent of cryptocurrency regulation, arguing that existing securities law frameworks need to be adapted to account for the novelty of different digital currencies and assets.

2. Virginia and New Jersey will elect their next governors today, with tight races in both states attracting national attention. 

 VIRGINIA Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, is facing off with Republican Glenn Youngkin in a tight race. 

Youngkin worked for his entire career in private equity, ultimately becoming co-CEO of the Carlyle Group. McAuliffe was the Governor of Virginia from 2014 to 2018. 

He previously worked on the presidential campaigns of the Clintons and was the chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005. In Virginia, governors cannot serve consecutive terms. 

 NEW JERSEY Incumbent New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy holds an ~8 point polling lead over GOP nominee Jack Ciattarelli, who served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 2011 to 2018. Murphy has emphasized the fact that Ciattarelli attended a "Stop the Steal" rally in November 2020, when then-President Trump was falsely claiming that the election had been stolen from him.

 Ciattarelli's campaign has tried to shift the focus from the elephant in the GOP — former President Trump — to standard GOP issues like lower taxes and newer themes like opposing vaccine mandates. 

3. Chinese government locked more than 30,000 visitors inside the Shanghai Disneyland theme park after a single guest tested positive for COVID-19.

The Chinese government locked visitors

 The visitors were forced to undergo COVID testing before being allowed to leave the park on Sunday.  All other visitors tested negative but were ordered to self-isolate for a day before taking another test.

 The theme park will be closed until Wednesday. Shanghai Disneyland first reopened in May 2020, relatively early in the COVID-19 pandemic. 

4. Psychologist Aaron Beck, the father of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, died at the age of 100.

Psychologist Aaron Beck died at the age of 100

 During his career Dr. Beck published hundreds of articles and dozens of books, shaping the field of psychology and serving as a pioneer of a now-popular type of therapy for depression. 

CBT was originally developed to treat depression. It focuses on understanding and changing the negative or self-critical thought patterns that are characteristic symptoms of depression, anxiety disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. 

CBT became popular in the 1990s and is often used in combination with antidepressants or talk therapy. Beck founded the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy with his daughter, Dr. Judith Beck. 

She issued a statement after her father's death: "We now honour my father's legacy as we continue his work and further his mission of helping individuals live healthier, happier and more meaningful lives." 

5. Facebook said it has shut down a "troll farm" operated by the Nicaraguan government. 

The operation was spreading anti-opposition propaganda via social media and using multiple accounts that masked the identity of the government agents posting on them. 

 Presidential elections are being held in Nicaragua on Nov. 7. Human rights groups and international organizations have criticized President Daniel Ortega's government in the leadup to the election, as opposition leaders and potential challengers to the government have been arrested for politically-motivated reasons. 

Facebook said the accounts were operated by government officials as well as members of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front party. 

Last month, Facebook shut down: 937 accounts, 140 Facebook pages, 24 Facebook groups, 363 Instagram accounts. 

Ben Nimmo, threat intelligence lead for Facebook's parent company, Meta, said: "This was really a cross-government operation, the troll farm consisted of several clusters which were run from multiple  government entities at once

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