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Best of the Web, North American financials edition

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Best of the Web, North American financials edition

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is the latest to fall victim to a deceptive email hoax, Mike Mayo lands on his feet at Wells Fargo, and the inside scoop on a $55 million virtual currency heist.

U.S. bank bosses succumb to email hoaxer

Count Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Citigroup Inc. CEO Michael Corbat as the latest big names to be ensnared by an email prank that has targeted some of the most prominent executives and central bankers worldwide. Neither of the incidents involving Blankfein and Corbat revealed sensitive information from their respective companies, according to Reuters. Days later, Morgan Stanley confirmed that CEO James Gorman fell victim to a hoax in which he replied to an email he mistakenly believed came from Alistair Darling, a former U.K. exchequer, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The monk who left the monastery to fix broken retirement plans

After years of providing financial and spiritual advice to visitors in his capacity as a monk in Santa Fe, N.M., Doug Lynam may have finally found his calling. A meeting with a teacher from the Santa Fe Preparatory School distraught by her lack of retirement savings convinced Lynam to take a closer look at the school's 403 (b) plan. Disillusioned by the school's apparent poor financial decision making, Lynam left his position at the monastery to engage in a partnership with LongView Asset Management LLC, The New York Times reported.

"Mike Mayo will still be Mike Mayo," says Mike Mayo

Upon his appointment at Wells Fargo Securities LLC, Mayo vowed to uphold a persona that earned him a reputation as arguably one of the most outspoken bank analysts on Wall Street. "My goal is to be somewhere that allows me to do great research, to have impact and to still be myself," Mayo told London's Financial Times. "Wells Fargo fits all three criteria."

The snowballing power of the VIX, Wall Street's fear index

Despite a relative dearth of sharp moves in U.S. equity markets for most of this year, some traders have been able to make healthy profits by shorting the CBOE Volatility Index, commonly known as the VIX. An article in The Wall Street Journal goes through the history of the VIX back to its infancy in the post-Black Monday era, when the CBOE developed a set of financial derivatives or options as a way of measuring the pace of movements in the market.

The Ether Thief

Roughly a year after an unknown hacker made off with $55 million in the virtual currency ether, Bloomberg Markets provides an in-depth account of how an error in a single line of computer coding put as much as $250 million at risk of being stolen. The coding relates to a new form of blockchain technology, known as ethereum blockchain, which enables so-called smart contracts to operate effectively. While the hacker managed to steal about 30% of the ether exposed by the security flaw within a period of six hours, the breach could have been much worse.

Green bonds channel private-sector funding to the climate

Green bond issuance among leading financial institutions such as BlackRock Inc. is soaring, The Economist reported. Issuance for green-bond funds, which link the proceeds from the bonds with investments intended to benefit the environment, could jump nearly 30% to $125 billion in 2017, according to Swedish bank SEB.