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Why boring government matters
November 1, 2018 | | Financial Times | Brooke Masters.

The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy, by Michael Lewis, Allen Lane, RRP£20, 219 pages.

John MacWilliams is a former Goldman Sachs investment banker who becomes the risk manager for the department of energy. He regales Lewis with a horrific catalogue of all the things that can go wrong if a government takes its eye off the ball, and provides the book with its title. Asked to name the five things that worry him the most, he lists the usual risks that one would expect — accidents, the North Koreans, Iran — but adds that the “fifth risk” is “project management”.

Lewis explains that “this is the risk society runs when it falls into the habit of responding to long-term risks with short-term solutions.” In other words, America will suffer if it stops caring about the unsung but vital programmes that decontaminate billions of tonnes of nuclear waste, fund basic scientific research and gather weather data.

That trap, he makes clear with instance after instance of the Trump administration failing to heed or even meet with his heroic bureaucrats, is what America is falling into now.

We should all be frightened.
books  book_reviews  boring  bureaucracy  bureaucrats  cynicism  government  Michael_Lewis  public_servants  risks  technocrats  unglamorous  writers  short-term_thinking  competence  sovereign-risk  civics  risk-management 
november 2018 by jerryking
Risk Management Reports
This site can’t be reached
http://www.riskinfo.com/rmr/rmrdec97.html is unreachable.
Search Google for risk info rmr amrdec 97

December 1997 Volume 24, No. 12. The trick in risk management,
perhaps, is in recognizing that normal is not a (default) state of nature but a
state of transition, and trend is not destiny. . . ." (Sept. 1, 1997). Peter Bernstein
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
John Adams, author of Risk University College London Press, London, 1995
Peter_Bernstein  risk-management  risks  book_reviews  base_rates  ephemerality  transient  impermanence  trends  transitions  normality  quotes 
april 2018 by jerryking
Tornado-Ravaged Hospital Took Storm-Smart Approach During Rebuild - Risk & Compliance Journal.
Aug 30, 2017 | WSJ | By Ben DiPietro.

...................“Preparation for what these events can be–and belief they can actually happen–is important so you make sure you are preparing for them,” ....trying to undertake whatever is your organizational mission in the midst of a tornado or other devastating event is much harder, given the high emotions and stress that manifests itself at such moments.

“Understand the possibilities and pre-planning will make that go a lot better,”

===============================
As Hurricane Harvey has shown, extreme weather events can devastate a region’s infrastructure. Hospital operator Mercy had its own experience of this in 2011 when a tornado ripped through Joplin, Mo., killing 161 people and destroying its hospital.

Hospital operator Mercy took the lessons it learned from that tornado experience and incorporated them into the design of the new hospital–and also changed the way it plans and prepares for disasters. The new facility reflects a careful risk assessment, as Mercy took into account not only the physical risk of tornadoes but the risks to power supplies and medical supplies.

“We always prepare, always have drills for emergencies, but you never quite can prepare for losing an entire campus,” ....“Now we are preparing for that…it definitely changed the way we look at emergency management.”

** Protecting What Matters Most **
Mercy took the lessons it learned from that devastating weather event and applied them when it was time to build its latest hospital, which was constructed in a way to better withstand tornadoes while providing more secure systems infrastructure and adding backup systems to ensure operations continued unimpeded, ......Even the way medical supplies were stored was changed; instead of storing supplies in the basement, where they were inaccessible in the immediate aftermath of the tornado, they now are kept on each floor so staff don’t need to go hunting around for things they need during an emergency.....“The first priority is to save lives, the second is to minimize damage to the facility,”

** Focus on the Worst **
many companies worry about low-severity, high-frequency events–those things that happen a lot. They instead need to focus more on high-severity events that can cause a company to impair its resilience. “....identify and work on a worst-case scenario and make sure it is understood and the company is financially prepared for it,”

work with its key vendors and suppliers to know what each will do in the face of a disaster or unexpected disruption. “...large companies [should] know their key vendors prior to any major incidents,” ...“Vendors become partners at that time and you need to know people will do what you need them to do.”

A company needs to assess what is most important to its operations, map who their vendors are in those areas and engage them in various loss scenarios .... It should review its insurance policy language against possible weather events, identify any gaps and either revise policies to fill those holes or to at least make sure executives understand what the risks are of leaving those gaps unattended.
==================================
See also :
What to Do Before Disaster Strikes - WSJ.com ☑
September 27, 2005 | WSJ | By GEORGE ANDERS.
start by cataloging what could go wrong. GM, for example, has created "vulnerability maps" that identify more than 100 hazards, ranging from wind damage to embezzlement. Such maps make it easier for managers to focus on areas of greatest risk or gravest peril.
low_probability  disasters  Hurricane_Harvey  extreme_weather_events  hospitals  tornadoes  design  rebuilding  preparation  emergencies  lessons_learned  worst-case  natural_calamities  anticipating  insurance  vulnerabilities  large_companies  redundancies  business-continuity  thinking_tragically  high-risk  risk-management  isolation  compounded  network_risk  black_swan  beforemath  frequency_and_severity  resilience  improbables  George_Anders  hazards  disaster_preparedness  what_really_matters 
september 2017 by jerryking
Don Mal on the Relentless Pursuit of Making Your Numbers
JULY 7, 2017 | The New York Times | By ADAM BRYANT.

How have your parents influenced your leadership style?

I’ve learned a lot from my father, probably more about what not to do. I respect him and learned a lot about work ethic.

But my father was a bit more of an old-school entrepreneur, with less planning. I learned I needed to be much more organized. In anything I do now, I’m continuously planning, because you have to manage risk. You have to have a Plan B.

So what are your best questions?

To understand their work ethic, I do ask this question: Would you be willing to leave your family at Disneyland to do something that was really important for the company?

Some people have said no, and I haven’t hired them.....To me, it’s not so much a loyalty question. It’s more of just trying to understand their work ethic.....And it’s my sales thing. It’s the relentless pursuit of the number. And at some point it does matter. You have to make your numbers. Whether you’re a public or a private company, you’ve got to make your numbers. So you do whatever it takes, without doing anything wrong or unethical.....What career and life advice do you give to new college grads?

I think it’s important to remind people, especially in this millennial culture we have now, that life is not going to be handed to you. Whatever you want out of life, you’ve got to earn it.
salespeople  commitment  CEOs  software  no_excuses  Plan_B  risk-management  work_ethic  work_life_balance 
july 2017 by jerryking
The Evolution of a Cybersecurity Firm - WSJ
By Cat Zakrzewski
May 16, 2017

......Certainly when someone is working with us today, they’re looking for us to deliver an outcome. They’re not necessarily looking for us to just provide them with a product and move on. That’s a big evolution in our model. We’re helping them manage cybersecurity risk.....It’s a big shift to go from a company that sold several products that each performed a separate security function to one that delivers an architecture designed to help customers drive more-holistic outcomes. In many cases, our customers are now asking us to help them manage and run our products for them so that they can get more value versus doing it themselves.......The problem we see in security is that often companies take the lack of attack on their company as meaning they have a good defense, and as a result do not place enough emphasis on the urgency of patching their systems to prevent future attacks.....[Cybersecurity has] gone from a back-office function to a boardroom-level issue. Now everyone in the C-suite of an organization has at least got some basic understanding of cybersecurity issues.

That’s bringing a whole level of visibility to it that we haven’t had in the past. Boards are worried about brand implications, they’re worried about intellectual property, they’re worried about business operations being interrupted, they’re worried about losing value. .....: I think the biggest mistake technical people can make is leading with the technology in both their explanation as well as in their remedies, leading with a one-size-fits-all problem. I think that’s when people get confused about what we’re trying to do. Then they think, well I can just go buy a widget and technical widgets should solve my technical cybersecurity problem. Cybersecurity is a systemic challenge. There are people issues......One key area is making sure that your partners and vendors are part of your extended, coordinated response, and that comes through clearly understanding what potential scenarios you face and then practicing what to do when an incident occurs.......Cybersecurity has a similar set of challenges, where you constantly are operating and have risks. People can be compromised, you have complex systems. You might make an acquisition where that firm had a breach and you’ve brought that into your organization. Cybersecurity is something you need to think about in a risk-based context and think about it holistically.
CEOs  McAfee  boards_&_directors_&_governance  cyber_security  cyberthreats  outcomes  risk-management  data_breaches  network_risk  threat_intelligence  one-size-fits-all  thinking_holistically  Michael_McDerment  C-suite 
may 2017 by jerryking
Technology and markets are driving employment in the right direction - The Globe and Mail
RICK LASH
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Oct. 17, 2016

The best way to achieve higher profits is ensuring maximum flexibility in the workforce so the organization can adapt to rapidly changing market needs. Having a more flexible employee pool that you can hire and furlough depending on business demands is one way to manage risk.

If technology and new finance-driven business models are fundamentally altering the future of jobs and work, what’s a new graduate (or an older worker) to do? All is not hopeless, and in fact there is indeed a silver lining, if one knows where to look.

Companies like Uber are figuring it out, at least for now. The same technology that is replacing workers with intelligent robots (on the shop floor or as an app on your smartphone) is also being used to create new models of generating wealth. Whether you are a bank driving growth through new on-line channels, a streaming music company designing creative new ways for consumers to subscribe, or an entrepreneur raising capital online for a new invention, key skills stand out as differentiators for success.
automation  technology  artificial_Intelligence  risk-management  data_driven  silver_linings  skills  new_graduates  job_search  business_models  rapid_change  workforce  flexibility  Uber  on-demand  streaming 
october 2016 by jerryking
At BlackRock, a Wall Street Rock Star’s $5 Trillion Comeback - The New York Times
SEPT. 15, 2016 | NYT | By LANDON THOMAS Jr.

(1) Laurence Fink: “If you think you know everything about our business, you are kidding yourself,” he said. “The biggest question we have to answer is: ‘Are we developing the right leaders?’” “Are you,” he asked, “prepared to be one of those leaders?”

(2) BlackRock was thriving because of its focus on low-risk, low-cost funds and the all-seeing wonders of Aladdin. BlackRock sees the future of finance as being rules-based, data-driven, systematic investment styles such as exchange-traded funds, which track a variety of stock and bond indexes or adhere to a set of financial rules. Fink believes that his algorithmic driven style will, over time, grow faster than the costlier “active investing” model in which individuals, not algorithms, make stock, bond and asset allocation decisions.

Most money management firms highlight their investment returns first, and risk controls second. BlackRock has taken a reverse approach: It believes that risk analysis, such as gauging how a security will trade if interest rates go up or down, improves investment results.

(3) BlackRock, along with central banks, sovereign wealth funds — have become the new arbiters of "flow.“ It is not about the flow of securities anymore, it is about the flow of information and indications of interest.”

(4) Asset Liability and Debt and Derivatives Investment Network (Aladdin), is BlackRock's big data-mining, risk-mitigation platform/framework. Aladdin is a network of code, trades, chat, algorithms and predictive models that on any given day can highlight vulnerabilities and opportunities connected to the trillions that BlackRock firm tracks — including the portion which belongs to outside firms that pay BlackRock a fee to have access to the platform. Aladdin stress-tests how securities will respond to certain situations (e.g. a sudden rise in interest rates or what happens in the event of a political surprise, like Donald J. Trump being elected president.)

In San Francisco, a team of equity analysts deploys data analysis to study the language that CEOs use during an earnings call. Unusually bearish this quarter, compared with last? If so, maybe the stock is a sell. “We have more information than anyone,” Mr. Fink said.
systematic_approaches  ETFs  Wall_Street  BlackRock  Laurence_Fink  asset_management  traders  complacency  future  finance  Aladdin  risk-management  financiers  financial_services  central_banks  money_management  information_flows  volatility  economic_downturn  liquidity  bonds  platforms  frameworks  stress-tests  monitoring  CEOs  succession  risk-analysis  leadership  order_management_system  sovereign_wealth_funds  market_intelligence  intentionality  data_mining  collective_intelligence  risk-mitigation  rules-based  risks  asset_values  scaling  scenario-planning  databases 
september 2016 by jerryking
Goldman Sachs Has Started Giving Away Its Most Valuable Software - WSJ
By JUSTIN BAER
Sept. 7, 2016

Securities DataBase, or SecDB, the system remains Goldman’s prime tool for measuring risk and analyzing the prices of securities, and it calculates 23 billion prices across 2.8 million positions daily. It has played a crucial role in many of the seminal moments of the firm’s recent history, including its controversial trading just ahead of the financial crisis.....There is perhaps no better sign of the changes that have engulfed Wall Street than this: Goldman has recently started giving clients the tools that made it a trading powerhouse, for free.

The firm’s motives aren’t altruistic; rather, many of the edges that once made Goldman’s traders feared and admired have been blunted. New rules have limited banks’ trading risks, and made it costly to hold large inventories of stocks and bonds on their books. And electronic trading has squeezed margins, dimming the clamor of trading floors across Wall Street....Traders and executives tap into SecDB to inform how to price securities, and how the value of those assets may change with a twist on the dial on any one of thousands of potential variables. That information can be used to analyze potential trades—and then to monitor the risks posed by those positions.

What made it the envy of Wall Street, though, was its ability to scale up to include new classes of securities, new trading desks, even whole businesses. And the data it harnessed was all in one place.
Wall_Street  Goldman_Sachs  tools  traders  risk-management  informational_advantages  software  free  databases  platforms  CIOs  proprietary  slight_edge  Aladdin  Martin_Chavez  scaling  SecDB  seminal_moments  asset_values  scenario-planning  stress-tests 
september 2016 by jerryking
From terrorism to technological disruption: Leaders need to tackle risk - The Globe and Mail
DAVID ISRAELSON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016

“Not only do they have to think about and worry about economic changes and what their competitors are going to do, they now have a whole new level of political and regulatory risk,” Ms. Ecker says.

“You can’t predict in some cases how a policy maker is going to move. We’re seeing that in China now.”

At the beginning of 2016, as markets began a steep slide in China, that country’s regulators twice activated a “circuit breaker” mechanism to halt trading, only to abandon it after it appeared to make the drop in the market even worse.

The lesson is that sometimes “business practices and even business products that seem acceptable today, for whatever reason, when something happens can be considered things you shouldn’t be doing. There’s more policy unpredictability than ever before,” Ms. Ecker says.

“In an increasingly risky world, a CEO needs to be increasingly flexible and adaptable. You also need to have a team and know what the latest threat might be.”

That isn’t necessarily easy, she adds. “There’s no rule book. When I was in politics, people used to ask me what we should anticipate. I’d tell them, ‘Read science fiction books.’ ”....CEOs in today’s risky world also need people skills that may not have been necessary before, says Shaharris Beh, director of Hackernest, a Toronto-based not-for-profit group that connects worldwide tech companies.

“CEOs have always needed strong skills around rapid decision-making and failure mitigation. In today’s hypercompetitive startup business climate, leaders need two more: pivot-resilience and proleptic consensus leadership,” he says.

“Pivot-resilience is the ability to tolerate the stress of gut-wrenching risks when dramatically shifting strategy. In other words, be able to take the blame gracefully while still warranting respect among your team members.”

Proleptic consensus leadership is especially important for startups, Mr. Beh says. “It’s the ability to garner the team’s support for taking big risks by giving them the assurance of what backup plans are in place should things go sour.”

This consensus building “is how you keep support,” he adds. In a volatile economy, “people can jump ship at any time or even unintentionally sabotage things if they’re not convinced a particular course of action will work.” So you have to constantly persuade.
science_fiction  law_firms  law  risks  CEOs  risk-management  disruption  BLG  leaders  pivots  resilience  consensus  risk-taking  contingency_planning  unpredictability  political_risk  regulatory_risk  policymakers  flexibility  adaptability  anticipating  people_skills  circuit_breakers 
february 2016 by jerryking
Goldman Sachs to Give Out ‘Secret Sauce’ on Trading - WSJ
By JUSTIN BAER
Aug. 12, 2015

Goldman will soon offer clients access to more of its in-house tools, such as high-powered databases that analyze markets and manage risk, according to the firm’s executives. Those proprietary systems have long been key elements enabling Goldman to sidestep market turmoil and ring up outsized profits in better conditions.

Given direct access to these tools, Goldman clients could use the technology to build their own trading systems and potentially make purchases independent of the firm.

But the firm’s executives believe the upside outweighs those concerns. Goldman is betting that its clients, such as hedge funds and other money managers, will use the individual applications, or apps, to develop strategies and then execute their trades with the firm.
Goldman_Sachs  tools  risk-management  CIOs  proprietary  traders  trading_platforms  upside  special_sauce 
august 2015 by jerryking
You can’t predict a black swan - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jan. 29 2015

The New York snowstorm that wasn’t, like the Swiss currency storm that was, are reminders that sophisticated computer models used to predict the future are useless in the face of the unpredictable. Instead of seeking a false assurance in the models, it’s better to prepare, to the extent possible, to weather any storm Mother Nature or man dishes up.

Black swans are “large-scale, unpredictable and irregular events of massive consequence,” as defined by the author who popularized the term in a 2007 book. Given their unpredictability, says Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the solution cannot lie in developing better predictive methods....Robust policy – such as sustainable public finances or effective bank regulations – must be designed to withstand black swans.
Konrad_Yakabuski  forecasting  weather  public_policy  reminders  modelling  unpredictability  assumptions  antifragility  Nassim_Taleb  black_swan  resilience  risk-management  policymaking 
january 2015 by jerryking
Humanity’s Last Great Hope: Venture Capitalists - WSJ - WSJ
By CHRISTOPHER MIMS
Oct. 20, 2014

as government has pulled back from spending on basic R&D, in general so too has big business. Long gone are the days when large corporate research campuses like Bell Labs came up with fundamental breakthroughs like the transistor.

This is where venture capitalists could step up—if they choose to fund the right startups.

Much of the basic research that used to be conducted within companies is now resident in startups, which technology companies gobble up at every opportunity. Acquisitions are the new R&D, and “acqui-hires” are the new staff development. Successful venture capitalism is about managing risk, so partners at most VC firms invest in businesses they think will become viable, or at least worthy of an acquisition, in the shortest time possible.
acquihires  Bell_Labs  breakthroughs  Christopher_Mims  fundamental_discoveries  hiring  innovation  mergers_&_acquisitions  risk-management  R&D  start_ups  vc  venture_capital 
october 2014 by jerryking
China will keep spying. Canada must respond with skill, not rhetoric - The Globe and Mail
DAVID MULRONEY
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jul. 31 2014

China uses its long reach for objectives other than espionage. It feels free to confront any Canadian who shows undue interest in “sensitive” topics. Members of Parliaments, mayors, academics and community leaders have been bullied for displaying interest in the Dalai Lama, conditions in China’s restive Xinjiang region, or the plight of Falun Gong practitioners.

This is unacceptable, but here’s the hard part: we can expect more of the same. A rising but insecure China will not shrink from clandestine and downright unfriendly tactics to advance its interests.

We need to be clear-eyed in facing up to this. But we also need to recognize that our future prosperity, security and well-being depend on maintaining our own intelligently self-interested relationship with China.

So let’s start by banishing the rhetoric. China is not our best friend, any more than it is the sum of all fears. We do need to acknowledge and address the real threat China poses to our security.

Government needs to lead the way, but Canadian companies also need to step up their game. Enhanced security consciousness starts at the top. There are all too many anecdotes about security minded employees being over-ruled by senior executives who are worried about offending inquisitive Chinese visitors. That exquisite sensitivity is never reciprocated when it is the turn of the Chinese to host foreign guests....The one thing that we should avoid doing is closing doors to co-operation. Unfortunately, that’s already happening, and companies on both sides of the Pacific are paying a price. The Chinese media are portraying the U.S. technology sector as a major security threat. This makes it fair game for overly zealous regulators, and plays into the longstanding Chinese inclination to make life tougher for foreign firms. This week, investigators descended on Microsoft offices in China. Meanwhile the China operations of U.S.-based chip maker Qualcomm are also under review. Firms like Apple and Google have felt a similar chill.

Here in North America, China’s telecom giant Huawei is our bête noir, accused of being a proxy for the Chinese security apparatus. These allegations find a ready audience among a Canadian public that, as recent polling has shown, is increasingly wary of China.

It’s hard to argue against caution when it comes to China. But we’re jumping from naive acceptance to complete risk avoidance. There is an intermediate step – risk mitigation. Although its approach is not without controversy, the U.K. has opted for a partnership with Huawei that sees the Chinese company funding an inspection process in Britain designed to reduce security risks.

Complete risk avoidance, or shutting our door to China, comes at a cost that falls on consumers, on smaller companies seeking access to global markets, and on communities seeking investment....China is at the heart of changes that expose us to new levels of threat and uncertainty. We need to respond with skill, purpose and confidence. The only thing more dangerous than engaging China is not engaging it.
espionage  China  security_&_intelligence  Canada  risk-management  influence  influence_peddling  intimidation  purpose  self-confidence  frenemies  Huawei  threats  risk-aversion  uncertainty  risk-mitigation  security_consciousness  inquisitiveness  risk-avoidance  Canada-China_relations  cyberespionage  anecdotal 
july 2014 by jerryking
BlackRock’s Aladdin: genie not included - FT.com
July 11, 2014 | FT |By Tracy Alloway.
(Risk management technology is no substitute for investor instinct)
Aladdin is BlackRock's current, state of the art risk and order management system. Aladdin has been described as BlackRock’s “central nervous system” but what is less well-known is that the operating platform also acts as the brains at some 60 other financial firms which altogether handle a whopping $14tn worth of assets.

At banks, investment managers and trading outfits around the world, Aladdin’s genie is hard at work analysing portfolios, running stress test scenarios and generally employing BlackRock’s “collective intelligence” to perform a whole host of financial functions....the increasingly significant role that Aladdin and its 25m lines of code plays in the wider financial markets has, with notable exceptions, largely been overlooked....The role of these formulas or programs tends to go unnoticed but they often play two key roles in the build-ups to financial crises. Firstly they give investors and traders a potentially dangerous sense of control over risk. Second, as their use proliferates, they also encourage a build-up of “one-way” bets as investors increasingly come to rely on similar data and analysis.
BlackRock  Laurence_Fink  asset_management  pretense_of_knowledge  long-term  risk-management  Wall_Street  collective_intelligence  systemic_risks  order_management_system  algorithms  platforms  Aladdin  stress-tests  overconfidence  overlooked  false_confidence  scenario-planning  financial_crises 
july 2014 by jerryking
The Biology of Risk - NYTimes.com
By JOHN COATES JUNE 7, 2014

What is it about risk taking that so eludes our understanding, and our control?

Part of the problem is that we tend to view financial risk taking as a purely intellectual activity. But this view is incomplete. Risk is more than an intellectual puzzle — it is a profoundly physical experience, and it involves your body...Risk by its very nature threatens to hurt you, so when confronted by it your body and brain, under the influence of the stress response, unite as a single functioning unit....The state of your body predicts your appetite for financial risk just as it predicts an athlete’s performance.

If we understand how a person’s body influences risk taking, we can learn how to better manage risk takers. We can also recognize that mistakes governments have made have contributed to excessive risk taking.

Consider the most important risk manager of them all — the Federal Reserve. ...Uncertainty over the timing of something unpleasant often causes a greater challenge response than the unpleasant thing itself. Sometimes it is more stressful not knowing when or if you are going to be fired than actually being fired. Why? Because the challenge response, like any good defense mechanism, anticipates; it is a metabolic preparation for the unknown....Most models in economics and finance assume that risk preferences are a stable trait, much like your height. But this assumption, as our studies suggest, is misleading. Humans are designed with shifting risk preferences. They are an integral part of our response to stress, or challenge....One such opportunity is a brief spike in market volatility, for this presents a chance to make money. But if volatility rises for a long period, the prolonged uncertainty leads us to subconsciously conclude that we no longer understand what is happening and then cortisol scales back our risk taking. In this way our risk taking calibrates to the amount of uncertainty and threat in the environment.

Continue reading the main story
Under conditions of extreme volatility, such as a crisis, traders, investors and indeed whole companies can freeze up in risk aversion, and this helps push a bear market into a crash. Unfortunately, this risk aversion occurs at just the wrong time, for these crises are precisely when markets offer the most attractive opportunities, and when the economy most needs people to take risks. The real challenge for Wall Street, I now believe, is not so much fear and greed as it is these silent and large shifts in risk appetite....As uncertainty in fed funds declined, one of the most powerful brakes on excessive risk taking in stocks was released....There are times when the Fed does need to calm the markets. After the credit crisis, it did just that. But when the economy and market are strong, as they were during the dot-com and housing bubbles, what, pray tell, is the point of calming the markets? Of raising rates in a predictable fashion? If you think the markets are complacent, then unnerve them. Over the past 20 years the Fed may have perfected the art of reassuring the markets, but it has lost the power to scare. And that means stock markets more easily overshoot, and then collapse.

CONTINUE READING THE MAIN STORY
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COMMENTS
The Fed could dampen this cycle. It has, in interest rate policy, not one tool but two: the level of rates and the uncertainty of rates. Given the sensitivity of risk preferences to uncertainty, the Fed could use policy uncertainty and a higher volatility of funds to selectively target risk taking in the financial community....IT may seem counterintuitive to use uncertainty to quell volatility. But a small amount of uncertainty surrounding short-term interest rates may act much like a vaccine immunizing the stock market against bubbles. More generally, if we view humans as embodied brains instead of disembodied minds, we can see that the risk-taking pathologies found in traders also lead chief executives, trial lawyers, oil executives and others to swing from excessive and ill-conceived risks to petrified risk aversion. It will also teach us to manage these risk takers, much as sport physiologists manage athletes, to stabilize their risk taking and to lower stress.
Wall_Street  risks  risk-management  risk-taking  uncertainty  U.S._Federal_Reserve  bubbles  volatility  behavioural_economics  risk-preferences  risk-aversion  biology  psychology  interest_rates  emotions  human_experience  human_behavior  human_frailties  human_psyche  financial_risk  signaling  stress_response  market_crash  immobilize  paralyze  bear_markets  policy_tools  physiological_response  risk-appetite  unpredictability  physical_experiences  calibration 
june 2014 by jerryking
When data meets agriculture: Monsanto to buy Climate Corp. for $930M — Tech News and Analysis
Oct. 2, 2013 | GigaOM | By Stacey Higginbotham.

Monsanto, the giant agricultural company, says it will acquire data analytics firm the Climate Corp. in a cash deal valued at $930 million. This deal is an obvious extension of data analytics into the world of big agriculture, but it’s also a perfect example of how the combo of data and the internet of things is going to disrupt established industries in a way that traditional computing never could.

Climate Corp offered targeted insurance policies to farmers that incorporated all sorts of data about historical and current agriculture and weather....as climate change disrupts historical weather patterns, this boosts the risks to farmers that weather events might destroy crops, but it also changes the types of crops they should plant. Thus the data analysis that Climate Corp. offers is not only valuable to farmers today, but also to Monsanto as it tries to create crops that will thrive as the climate changes.
data  Monsanto  Climate_Corporation  agriculture  farming  weather  insurance  climate_change  risks  risk-management 
january 2014 by jerryking
Carlyle Group buys Toronto alternative asset manager - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 26 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Boyd Erman.
U.S. private equity behemoth Carlyle Group LP is buying a Toronto-based asset manager that specializes in picking hedge funds for huge institutional investors, yet another sign of Canada’s growing influence in the business of running alternative assets.

Carlyle said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy Diversified Global Asset Management Corp., an employee owned firm that oversees assets of $6.7-billion (U.S.), for about $103-million

DGAM’s specialty is advising large investors such as pension funds and sovereign wealth funds on how to use hedge fund strategies to manage risk and increase returns.

Canada, particularly Toronto, has a reputation as a top centre for money management in pension circles, with institutions such as Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board running complex strategies using alternative investments – essentially, in-house hedge funds. DGAM helps clients do the same thing by building custom portfolios of hedge funds and investments.
Carlyle_Group  private_equity  Toronto  investors  pension_funds  sovereign_wealth_funds  alternative_investments  Boyd_Erman  asset_management  OTPP  CPPIB  money_management  risk-management  institutional_investors 
november 2013 by jerryking
The need for an analytical approach to life
November 3, 2013 | FT.com | By Rebecca Knight.

Risk analysis is not about predicting events; it’s about understanding the probability of possible scenarios, according to Elisabeth Paté-Cornell, professor at the Stanford School of Engineering.
In her latest research, she argues that expressions such as “black swan” and “perfect storm”, which have become journalistic shorthand when describing catastrophes, are just excuses for poor planning. Managers, should “think like engineers” and take a systematic approach to risk analysis. They should figure out how a system works and then identify the probable ways in which it could fail.
So does a black swan event exist?
The only one that I can think of is the Aids epidemic. In the case of a true black swan, you cannot anticipate it.
And what about ‘perfect storms’?
A combination of rare events is often referred to as a perfect storm. I think people underestimate the probability of them because they wrongly assume that the elements of a perfect storm are independent. If something happened in the past – even though it may not have happened at the same time as something else – it is likely to happen again in the future.
Why should managers take an engineering approach to analysing the probability of perfect storms?
Engineering risk analysts think in terms of systems – their functional components and their dependencies. If you’re in charge of risk management for your business, you need to see the interdependencies of any of the risks you’re managing: how the markets that you operate in are interrelated, for example.
You also need imagination. Several bad things can happen at once. Some of these are human errors and once you make a mistake, others are more likely to happen. This is because of the sequence of human error. When something bad happens or you make a mistake, you get distracted which means you’re more likely to make another mistake, which could lead to another bad event. When you make an error, stop and think. Anticipate and protect yourself.
How can you compute the likelihood of human error?
There are lots of ways to use systems analysis to calculate the probability of human error. Human errors are often rooted in the way an organisation is managed: either people are not skilled enough to do their jobs well; they do not have enough information; or they have the wrong incentives. If you’re paid for maximum production you’re going to take risks.
So in the case of a financial company I’d say monitor your traders, and maybe especially those that make a lot of money. There are a lot of ways you can make a lot of money: skill, luck, or through imprudent choices that sooner or later are going to catch up with you.
So you can do risk analysis even without reliable statistics?
We generally do a system-based risk analysis because we do not have reliable statistics. The goal is to look ahead and use the information we have to assess the chances that things might go wrong.
The upshot is that business schools ought to do a better job of teaching MBAs about probability.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
“Numbers make intangibles tangible,” said Jonah Lehrer, a journalist and
author of “How We Decide,” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009). “They
give the illusion of control. [Add "sense of control" to tags]
engineering  sense_of_control  black_swan  warning_signs  9/11  HIV  Aids  business_schools  MBAs  attitudes  interconnections  interdependence  mindsets  Stanford  imagination  systems_thinking  anticipating  probabilities  pretense_of_knowledge  risk-management  thinking_tragically  complexity  catastrophes  shorthand  incentives  quantified_self  multiple_stressors  compounded  human_errors  risks  risk-analysis  synchronicity  cumulative  self-protection  systematic_approaches 
november 2013 by jerryking
Playing it safe puts the economy at risk - The Globe and Mail
TODD HIRSCH

Special to The Globe and Mail

Last updated Thursday, Apr. 11 2013

Risk management is now a quasi-science, with positive and negative consequences. The positive is that companies are now better equipped to gauge the level of risk associated with any particular investment. But the negative is that, too often, risk management hampers innovation and creativity.

What should be a tool to make better decisions has sometimes led companies to make no decisions at all. Risk management should liberate companies. Instead, it has enslaved some.
risks  risk-management  innovation  economy  creativity  Todd_Hirsch  risk-aversion  risk-avoidance  playing_it_safe 
april 2013 by jerryking
Risk Management and Religious Organizations
Melding Practicality and Spirituality in a Risk Management Program
by Jeff Hanna
risk-management  churches 
january 2013 by jerryking
Making the Change From Middle Manager To a Seat at the Top - WSJ.com
July 7, 1998 | WSJ | By HAL LANCASTER

Less surprising, delivering results matters. Thinking strategically, being persuasive, being politically adroit and having a "significantly broader organizational awareness" also tend to make up a successful manager, ...Earn respect for being exceptionally good at what you do and show that you can run a business independently. Translation: Deliver results without a lot of hand-holding....a seldom-mentioned trait: consistency. "They must show consistency in the decisions they make and in their behavior," ..."A lot of people fail to make the next move because they really don't understand" how to assess risk," she says. "Or they don't have a Plan B."
Hal_Lancaster  ksfs  Managing_Your_Career  movingonup  executive_management  risk-assessment  risk-management  contingency_planning  JCK  transitions  companywide  middle_management  consistency  decision_making  Plan_B  off-plan  hand-holding  strategic_thinking  personal_accomplishments 
december 2012 by jerryking
Taking Risk To the Marketplace
March 6, 2000 | Fortune Magazine | By Thomas A. Stewart.

* "You should always value the ability to move and change, because that creates options, and options are valuable,"
* Traditional risk management, with its emphasis on real property and financial events, isn't enough for knowledge companies, whose big risks are intellectual assets, such as brand equity, human capital, innovation, and their network of relationships.
* you have to know what's at risk-- which isn't always easy for intangible assets.
* Each intangible asset has a different risk profile.
*Thinking like a portfolio manager works for risk management as well as for strategy, says Bruce Pasternak, head of the strategic leadership practice at Booz Allen & Hamilton. In either case, adaptability is a cardinal virtue; the top goal is organizational flexibility. All-or-nothing bets like insurance have limited use in protecting cash flows from intangibles because their value is so uncertain, says Anjana Bhattacharee, director of Aporia, a British startup developing tools to manage those risks. Hedging also has problems. Says Bjarni Armannsson, head of the Icelandic Investment Bank in Reykjavik: "It's difficult to find a counterparty for intellectual risks." To hedge against falling gas prices, Enron can sell the risk to someone who fears rising prices, like a utility, but how do you hedge against a loss of expertise or brand equity

* Markets are full of risk, but it turns out that they're a lot safer than rigid structures. Intellectual assets and operations obey no one's command and are subject to discontinuous--i.e., quantum--change. There are four ways to respond to risk: Avoid it, reduce it, transfer it, or accept it. The one thing you can't do, if it's intellectual risk, is tie it up and subdue it.
Thomas_Stewart  risks  risk-management  organizational_flexibility  adaptability  binary_decisionmaking  intellectual_risks  human_capital  insurance  intellectual_assets  brand_equity  intangibles  networks  interconnections  discontinuities  expertise  portfolios  options  portfolio_management  cash_flows  generating_strategic_options  optionality  brittle  antifragility  step_change  counterparties  network_risk 
december 2012 by jerryking
Business continuity: Making it through the storm
Nov 10th 2012 | The Economist |Anonymous.

Hurricane Sandy was another test of how well businesses can keep going when disaster strikes...GOLDMAN SACHS’S latest shrewd investment was in sandbags and back-up electricity generators. As Hurricane Sandy approached New York, the bags were stacked around its headquarters. It was one of the few offices in downtown Manhattan to remain dry and well-illuminated as “Frankenstorm” battered the city.

Meanwhile, a block farther down West Street, the headquarters of Verizon were awash with salty flood water, soaking cables delivering phone and internet services to millions of customers. The firm was able to reroute much of the traffic through other parts of its network, but local service was disrupted....Sandy is the latest catastrophic event to test the readiness of the world’s leading firms to cope with disaster. Most firms have improved “business continuity” preparations over the years. The Y2K scare at the turn of the century moved IT risk high up the list of worries. The attacks of September 11th 2001 warned firms of the danger of putting all their computers (and staff) in the same place (jk: concentration risk; SPOF)....“Firms are increasingly reliant on networks, but often fail to understand the risks that networks bring,” says Don Tapscott, a management guru. Global supply chains, just-in-time and shifting to the “cloud” tend to bind once unrelated activities ever closer together, making them more prone to failing at the same time. The current fad for moving data to the “cloud” may appear to reduce risk because there is so much spare capacity in the web. Yet some firms offering cloud services have more concentrated operations than (jk: concentration risk).

Firms are starting to recognise their vulnerability to cyber-attack, but few have much idea what they would do if it happened. Mr Tapscott thinks boards should have a committee explicitly focused on understanding IT and network risks and ensuring they are properly managed....Dutch Leonard, a risk expert at Harvard Business School, says that the best-prepared firms use a combination of planning for specific events and planning to cope with specific consequences, such as a loss of a building or supplier, regardless of the cause. He also recommends copying an approach used by the armed forces: using a group of insiders to figure out how the firm could be brought down [ jk: white hats]....Firms should make lobbying government to invest heavily in upgrading that infrastructure a core part of their risk-management strategy, argues Irwin Redlener of the National Centre for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University.

Goldman Sachs has long been a leader in disaster planning because it understands that the situations in which it might not be able to function are exactly the sort of events when very large changes in the value of its investments could occur, says Mr Leonard. Yet too many firms underinvest in planning for disaster because they don’t think it will pay, at least within the short-term timeline by which many now operate, reckons Yossi Sheffi of MIT.
beforemath  boards_&_directors_&_governance  business-continuity  catastrophes  compounded  concentration_risk  crisis  cyberattacks  cyber_security  disasters  disaster_preparedness  Don_Tapscott  Goldman_Sachs  Hurricane_Sandy  isolation  natural_calamities  networks  network_risk  New_York_City  optimism_bias  preparation  readiness  red_teams  resilience  risks  risk-management  short-term  SPOF  step_change  supply_chains  surprises  underinvestments  valuations  vulnerabilities  white_hats 
november 2012 by jerryking
A conversation that translates
June 7, 2012 | The Financial Times pg. 14 | Philip Delves Broughton.
(Pass on to Abdoulaye DIOP)
For global companies, creating an approach to risk that resonates across cultures can be a challenge, writes Philip Delves Broughton

Risk is a risky word. Already prone to misinterpretation among people who share a language and a culture, the difficulties multiply dangerously when it moves across borders.

What a Wall Street trader might define as moderately risky may seem downright insane to a Japanese retail broker; what an oil pipeline engineer in Brazil might characterise as gung-ho may appear overcautious to his revenue-chasing chief executive in London....The greatest pitfalls in managing risk across borders, he says, emerge from assuming too much. When dealing with fellow English speakers, it is easy to imagine that a shared language means shared assumptions - that the English, Americans and Australians think the same thing because they are using the same words.... Tips for managing risk across borders

Context is more important than language. Understand what matters most in the markets where you are doing business. Is it the law, logic or maintaining relationships?

Every word comes with its own "metadata" in different cultures. Be as specific as you can and never assume you have been properly understood without checking for potential misunderstandings.
cultural_assumptions  risks  risk-management  Communicating_&_Connecting  globalization  organizational_culture  transactions  national_identity  Philip_Delves_Broughton  translations  assumptions  misinterpretations  contextual  metadata  specificity  crossborder  cross-cultural  misunderstandings  interpretation  conversations  risk-assessment  words  compounded  risk-perception  multiplicative 
september 2012 by jerryking
Ten Commandments of Raising Money
(1) Assume the $ is available.
(2)Know you lending/investing options.
(3)Know your lends/investors.
(4) Make sure s/he knows you.
(5) Ask before you need the money.
(6) Follow the principles of salesmanship.
(7) Ask for more than you need.
(8) Business plan of course.
(9) Make his/her job easier.
(10) Maintain the relationship.

"It's really important to think about what risk you are trying to reduce when you raise money - is it product risk, team risk, market risk or something else? Investors really want to know what milestone you are trying to reach with the money. "
funding  financing  banks  pitches  business_planning  investors  risk-management  product_risk  team_risk  market_risk 
july 2012 by jerryking
Kit and Caboodle
April 1, 1999 | CFO Magazine | by Russ Banham.
ERM  risk-management  CFOs 
june 2012 by jerryking
Managing Risk In the 21st Century
February 7, 2000 | Fortune | By Thomas A. Stewart.

Take risk management, a responsibility of the treasury function. Most risk managers haven't begun to cope with the real threats 21st-century companies face. Like the drunk in the old joke who looks for his lost keys under the streetlamp because the light is better there, risk management is dealing with visible classes of risk while greater, unmanaged dangers accumulate in the dark.

Risk--let's get this straight upfront--is good. The point of risk management isn't to eliminate it; that would eliminate reward. The point is to manage it--that is, to choose where to place bets, where to hedge bets, and where to avoid betting altogether. Though most risk-management tools--insurance, hedging, diversification, etc.--have to do with reducing loss, the goal is to maximize the gains from the risks you take (alpha? McDerment?)

So where should we look for these new risks?

--Your reputation or brand. When a bad batch of carbon dioxide in Coca-Cola sickened some Belgian children last summer, Coke's European operating income fell about $205 million, and Coca-Cola Enterprises, the bottler, incurred $103 million in costs. What about the cost to brand equity? One highly imperfect proxy: Coke's market capitalization fell $34 billion between June 30 and Sept. 30, 1999.

--Your business model. Asset-free, knowledge-intensive competition is to entrenched business models what the Panzer was to the Maginot Line. MP3s changed the music business more fundamentally than anything since radio. E*Trade, 18 years old, forced Merrill Lynch, 180, to change its way of doing business. Yet the new guys' very nimbleness creates its own risks, which traditional risk management can't help. You can protect the hard assets of a brick-and-mortar mall. Click-and-order stores are much more exposed: Cash flow is just about all they've got.

--Your human capital. The obvious human-capital risk is flight--especially in a tight labor market--but it's only part of a larger, subtler problem. When the CEO intones, "People are our most important asset," he's wrong, even if he's sincere. People are your most important investors. Your stock of human capital matters less than your flow of it. Any turbulence--and is there anything but turbulence these days?--can disrupt the flow, damaging your ability to attract human capital or people's desire to collaborate. Says Thomas Davenport, a partner at Towers Perrin: "Uncertainty is a real enemy of human capital. People rebalance their ROI by cutting back the investment."

--Your intellectual property. Many risks to intellectual property--theft, for example--can be dealt with in obvious, if sometimes onerous, ways. Here's the cutting-edge question: How do you manage risk in the process by which new intellectual property is created? How do you cope with the fact that the safer a given R&D project is, the less likely it is to be a big-money breakthrough? How do you balance the virtues of specialization against those of diversification?

--Your network. No company is an island, entire of itself; odds are your business is embedded in a network you do not control. It's not just that AOL might crash and cost you a few days' sales; your whole business may depend on tangible and intangible assets that belong to outsourcing partners, franchisees, sugar daddies, or standard-setters.
There are a couple of patterns here. First, an ever-greater part of business risk comes from sources your company can't own--people, partners, environments. Second, volatility isn't just a currency or stock market risk anymore. Labor markets, technologies, even business models oscillate at higher frequencies--their behavior more and more resembling that of financial markets.

In those patterns are hints of how to manage intellectual risks--which we'll examine next time.
risk-management  21st._century  risks  Thomas_Stewart  reputation  branding  business_models  financial_markets  talent_management  intellectual_property  networks  human_capital  turbulence  uncertainty  volatility  instability  nimbleness  labour_markets  accelerated_lifecycles  intellectual_assets  e-commerce  external_interaction  talent_flows  cash_flows  network_risk  proxies  specialization  diversification  unknowns  brand_equity  asset-light  insurance  hedging  alpha  Michael_McDerment 
june 2012 by jerryking
Go Ahead, Take a Risk
June 22, 2004 | WSJ | By ADRIAN SLYWOTSKY

What are the risks you should be taking but aren't? Most managers treat risk as an unwanted byproduct of the business. They think narrowly of financial, operating, and hazard risks, such as currency fluctuations, employee fraud, and earthquakes. And they defend themselves through practices like hedging, internal controls, and insurance.

But disruptive strategic risks can be a much larger source of value destruction for a firm. I looked back to the bull market of the 1990s to analyze movements of the Fortune 1000 stocks; even then, before the market collapsed, 10% of stocks lost over one-quarter of their value in a single month, primarily because of strategic-risk events.

The most successful companies do not try to simply minimize strategic risk; they embrace such risk by making prudent bets in their growth-oriented strategies. Strategic risks include not just the obvious, high-probability events that a new ad campaign or new product launch will fail, but other less-obvious risks as well: Customers' priorities will change quickly -- as when baby-boomer parents quickly migrated from station wagons to minivans, catching most automakers off guard. New technology will overtake your product -- as mobile telephony has stolen market share from fixed-line voice. A one-of-a-kind competitor will render your business model obsolete -- as the Wal-Mart tidal wave has washed over mid-range department stores.

Although insurance and hedging can't address strategic risks, there are an array of countermeasures that can, including these three:
1) Smart sequencing for new growth initiatives. Look for incumbents that are moving deliberately, leveraging existing assets and customer relationships to gain the experience, knowledge, and reputation necessary to take the next step with confidence.
2) Proprietary information to reduce the risk of each new initiative. Gather and generate proprietary information that produces a depth of insight into the customer's needs and activities that traditional suppliers cannot match. This will make you a supplier of choice, reducing bidding volatility and allow you to plan with greater certainty.
3) Double betting to minimize the risk of obsolescence. When several versions of a new technology are competing to become the standard, it's impossible to predict which will prevail. So smart managers make double bets. Betting on both Windows and OS/2 positioned Microsoft to be the winner, regardless of which operating system prevailed.

Traditional risk management seeks to contain losses. But that's just one-half of the growth equation. By embracing strategic risk, Cardinal, JCI, and other risk-savvy companies have raised their growth potential in addition to reducing their economic volatility. That's important at a time when aggregate market growth is sluggish: The biggest risk of all is not to take the right growth risks for the business.
leaps_of_faith  Adrian_J._Slywotzky  risk-taking  proprietary  sequencing  scuttlebutt  information  growth  strategic_thinking  Mercer  Oliver_Wyman  product_launches  nonpublic  low_growth  slow_growth  insights  customer_insights  value_destruction  disruption  insurance  new_products  obsolescence  countermeasures  volatility  customer_risk  one-of-a-kind  hedging  overly_cautious  risk-aversion  de-risking  double_betting  risk-management  bull_markets  customer_relationships  dark_data  risk-savvy  internal_controls  financial_risk  risks 
june 2012 by jerryking
Sales Spurt, Growing Pains Leave Karaoke Maker Singing the Blues - WSJ.com
July 29, 2003 | WSJ | By JEFF BAILEY - Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

Singing Machine Co., a Coconut Creek, Fla., maker of karaoke machines. But rather than celebrating its success, these days the executives at Singing Machine are scrambling to avoid insolvency. The company's experience is a warning to all entrepreneurs about the dangers of rapid growth. Outside auditors last month noted that a default on a borrowing agreement "raises substantial doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern."

"It's a classic business-school case of growing pains," says Y.P. Chan, 39 years old and recently named Singing Machine's chief operating officer.

Every year, thousands of smaller companies go belly up because entrepreneurs aren't prepared to manage rapid growth. Accustomed to scratching for every sale, when the throttle is finally thrown wide open, too many assume it is clear sailing and fail to ask some important questions.
[chart]

Are your finances solid enough to support a bigger company, or are you counting on lush profits to do it? If you load up on inventory to satisfy demand, how will you survive if prices plunge? Look around -- does management have experience running a bigger enterprise? Look at your competitors -- are they bigger and likely to weather tough times better? Or are they also small companies that might get overextended and slash prices to stay afloat?
small_business  growth  bankruptcies  warning_signs  insolvency  contingency_planning  hard_times  high-growth  inventories  risk-management  overextended 
may 2012 by jerryking
UNPRECEDENTED VOLATILITY A HALLMARK OF AGRICULTURE’S NEW AGE
* Have a plan for the future – perhaps a surprise to some, but many farmers don’t have a plan in place that paints a vision for where they want to take their operation over the next 2, 5 and 10 years.
• Have credit in place before it is actually required – it is human nature to leave things to the last minute.
• Implement a sound hedging strategy – in addition to the system of crop insurance in place in this country, there are many ways that Canadian farmers can take actions to manage their risk. Diversifying into new businesses is one example.
• Well-managed risk can pay off – at the same time, taking on some risk that is prudent and ts the risk pro le of the farming operation can pay off handsomely for farmers. In such a volatile and fast paced environment, there are bound to be some buying and selling opportunities that open up. Knowing when to take advantage of them can separate successful farms with those that muddle along.
• Know your costs – many producers have a good sense of how their top line is performing. But it is just as impor-tant to have a good understanding of the cost side of the equation.
• Maintain adequate liquidity and reasonable leverage – in order to mitigate the risks associated with increasing asset prices, it would be prudent for farmers to ensure that they have sufficient liquidity and manageable leverage if they are expanding.
• Use reasonable interest rate assumptions in assessing investment opportunities – even though borrowing costs are unusually low, farmers must be mindful of the fact that this low-rate environment won’t last forever.
agriculture  uncertainty  volatility  farming  liquidity  leverage  hedging  futures_contracts  diversification  new_businesses  risks  risk-management  risk-taking  OPMA  WaudWare  interest_rates  vision  long-term  never_forever  business_planning  credit  costs  anticipating  risk-mitigation  low-interest  cost-consciousness 
may 2012 by jerryking
Stephen Byrd | Developing a Multiracial 'Desire' | Cultural Conversation by Joanne Kaufman - WSJ.com
April 26, 2012 | WSJ | By JOANNE KAUFMAN.

Former investment banker Stephen Byrd, 55, is one of the very few African-American producers on Broadway, and the first (with Alia Jones) to win London's Olivier Award, isn't interested in business as usual....The producer learning curve is steep enough. But Mr. Byrd has set himself an added challenge: attracting nontraditional audiences.
African-Americans  Broadway  theatre  playwrights  nontraditional  angels  risk-management  producers  learning_curves 
may 2012 by jerryking
What to Do Before Disaster Strikes - WSJ.com
September 27, 2005 | WSJ | By GEORGE ANDERS.

What's missing is a systematic way of approaching corporate self-defense. Each potential calamity is treated in isolation....Sheffi believes that companies need to start by cataloging what could go wrong. General Motors Corp., for example, has created "vulnerability maps" that identify more than 100 hazards, ranging from wind damage to embezzlement. Such maps make it easier for managers to focus on areas of greatest risk or gravest peril. He implies that normal budgeting -- which matches the cost of doing something against the risk-adjusted cost of doing nothing -- can determine which battles against vulnerability are worth fighting....Mr. Sheffi nods approvingly at some ingenious ways to mobilize for trouble before it arrives. Federal Express Corp., he says, puts two empty planes in the air each night, just so they can swoop into any airport with a grounded plane and take over delivery services as fast as possible. Wall Street firms have recently added similar redundancy with multiple data centers, so that a New York City crisis won't imperil their record-keeping.

Intel Corp. (post-Heathrow) gets a thumbs-up, too, for finding a sly way of outwitting airport thieves. It couldn't control every aspect of security in transit -- but it could change its box design. Rather than boast about "Intel inside," the company switched to drab, unmarked packaging that gave no hint of $6 million cargoes. The name for this approach: "Security through obscurity." (jk: security consciousness)
disaster_preparedness  risk-management  book_reviews  mapping  security_&_intelligence  redundancies  vulnerabilities  rate-limiting_steps  business-continuity  thinking_tragically  obscurity  cost_of_inaction  base_rates  isolated  GM  Fedex  Intel  risk-adjusted  self-defense  Wall_Street  high-risk  budgeting  disasters  beforemath  risks  George_Anders  catastrophes  natural_calamities  systematic_approaches  security_consciousness  record-keeping  hazards 
may 2012 by jerryking
Even Dairy Farming Has a 1 Percent - NYTimes.com
By ADAM DAVIDSON
March 6, 2012
to accommodate global trade rules and diminishing political support for agricultural subsidies, the government allowed milk prices to follow market demand. People in other parts of the world — notably China and India — also became richer and began demanding more meat and dairy products. Animal feed, especially corn and soybeans, became globally traded commodities with all the impossible-to-predict price swings of oil or copper. Today Robert can predict his profit or loss next month with all the certainty that you or I can predict the stock market or gas prices. During my visit, Robert said that his success this year will be determined by, among other things, China’s unpredictable economic growth, the price of gas (influenced, of course, by events in Iran and Syria) and the weather in New Zealand (a major milk exporter), where a drought can send prices skyrocketing.

There are ways to manage, and even profit from, these new risks. The markets offer a stunning range of complex agricultural financial products. Dairy farmers (or, for that matter, anybody) can buy and sell milk and animal-feed futures, which allow them to lock in favorable prices, hedge against bad news in the future and so forth. There’s also a new product that combines feed and milk futures into one financial package, allowing farmers to guarantee a minimum margin no matter what happens to commodity markets down the road.
farming  risk-management  agriculture  dairy  hedging  risks  soybeans  commodities  futures_markets  bad_news 
march 2012 by jerryking
The Development of Index Futures Contracts for Fruits and Vegetables
1998 | | Manfredo, Mark R. and Libbin, James D.

The fruit and vegetable industry does not have a risk management instrument or a well-structured price discovery system, such as commodity futures contracts, to aid in the marketing and management of its price risk. (When thinking about the OFT, take a look at electricity and power markets ICE clearinghouses, etc).
clearinghouses  fruits  vegetables  risk-management  futures_markets  agribusiness  agricultural_finance  marketing  massive_data_sets 
march 2012 by jerryking
Making Shareholders Liable for Big Banks - Economic View - NYTimes.com
By TYLER COWEN
Published: February 11, 2012
....There is a better alternative: expanding the liability for major financial institutions. If a shareholder invests a dollar in a big bank, why not make that shareholder liable for the first $1.50 — or more — of losses as insolvency approaches? In essence, we would be making the shareholders liable for the costs that bank failures impose on society, and making the banks sort out the right mixes of activities and risks. Eugene N. White, an economics professor at Rutgers University, supported a related proposal in a recent paper, “Rethinking the Regulation of Banking: Choices or Incentives?”

This proposal would shrink the financial sector, while avoiding excess regulatory micromanagement of bank activities. But it could still be combined with other regulations, like limits on leverage, if deemed appropriate or necessary.

Unlike the “big is bad” view, this proposal would penalize failing banks rather than safe, successful ones that happen to be large. That’s also more in accord with the American ethos of winning at business. ....
Expanded liability for bank shareholders might satisfy the Occupy Wall Street movement, and could be sold as a market-oriented, not regulatory solution; it’s probably what markets would insist upon if there were no central bank and no F.D.I.C. As recently as the 1980s, the partnership structure, another alternative to limited liability, was common among investment banks — and that hardly seemed a crippling drawback at the time.

We need to resist vengeful or “feel good” options for financial reform and embrace those that will really work.
banking  regulations  risk-management  Tyler_Cowen  too_big_to_fail  Occupy_Wall_Street  insolvency 
february 2012 by jerryking
Family Value: When Cousins Cost You - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 26, 2011

Will Cousins Cost You?
Preparing for Potential Train Wrecks in an Extended Family

By KELLY GREENE
family  risk-management 
november 2011 by jerryking
To risk or not to risk? Where (and when) should be the question
Sep 3, 2007 |The Globe and Mail pg. B.6 | Daniel F. Muzyka, Glen Donaldson

First, risk can sometimes be asymmetric: bad news being more "bad" than good news is "good". For example, while a business project that goes particularly well might deliver slightly ahead of expectations, a bad project that goes off the rails may far exceed its time and budget...Second, risk is often interconnected: the knee-bone is connected to the shin-bone is connected to the foot-bone.
...Third, risks can be multiplicative, with a series of small risks combining to produce large outcomes....The good news is that advancements in risk management can help produce insight and can deal with some of the risks. One can consider four steps to managing risk: identification, measurement, mitigation, and monitoring.
ProQuest  Daniel_Muzyka  risk-management  insights  large_payoffs  measurements  compounded  interconnections  risk-mitigation  multiplicative  risks  network_risk  asymmetrical  cumulative  risk-assessment  bad_news 
october 2011 by jerryking
THE WEATHER RISK MANAGEMENT INDUSTRY’S CLIMATE FORECAST AND DATA NEEDS A Workshop Report
August 2002 |AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY|BY RICHARD J. MURNANE, MICHAEL CROWE, ALLAN EUSTIS, SUSAN HOWARD, JUDY KOEPSELL, ROBERT LEFFLER, AND ROBERT LIVEZEY
climate_change  data  weather  risks  insurance  risk-management  forecasting 
october 2011 by jerryking
In Kenya, Drought Insurance via Cell Phone - NYTimes.com
May 9, 2011, 9:30 pm
Doing More Than Praying for Rain
By TINA ROSENBERG

Farming an acre of grain with nothing more than a strong back and a hoe
has always been precarious, but now more so than ever, because of
climate change....Small farmers around the world need many different
things to help them survive climate change: seeds resistant to extreme
weather and pests, cheap irrigation systems, and better agricultural
infrastructure, such as more feeder roads. But one thing that can help
small farmers now is insurance....Weather insurance for small farmers
has always faced numerous barriers. But throughout east Africa today
there are projects finding creative and innovative ways to overcome
them.
weather  insurance  smallholders  microfinance  Africa  Kenya  risk-management  seeds  agriculture  farming  mobile_phones  crop_insurance 
may 2011 by jerryking
Legitimacy seen as key
Dec 26, 2001 | G & M. pg. B.7 | by Royston Greenwood, David
Deephouse. or most CEOs, strategy involves deciding which markets to
enter and how to compete. But there's another aspect, often overlooked,
which is the battle for public legitimacy.
Most CEOs give it little, if any, attention and rarely give it
systematic consideration. They ignore it, however, at their peril.
Entrepreneurs starting new ventures are often acutely aware of the
importance of legitimacy precisely because they often lack it. Banks are
frequently unwilling to provide capital to unknown and inexperienced
entrepreneurs, despite good business plans. Similarly, suppliers and
consumers are nervous about transacting with firms that might disappear,
leaving debts and unfulfilled warranties....the most commonly used
device for obtaining legitimacy is co-opting the great and the good.
Companies stack their boards of directors with prestigious "names," or
associate with orgs. that already enjoys strong social approval.
ProQuest  legitimacy  risk-management  boards_&_directors_&_governance  start_ups  celebrities 
april 2011 by jerryking
Fatal Risk - WSJ.com
APRIL 5, 2011 | WSJ | By JAMES FREEMAN. Crisis Mismanagement.
The world's largest insurer was separated from the world's most
experienced risk manager at the worst possible moment. Fatal Risk By
Roddy Boyd Wiley, 349 pages, $27.95
book_reviews  AIG  risk-management  Hank_Greenberg  insurance 
april 2011 by jerryking
Business Strategies in China and India
Course Outline
Business Strategies in China and India
Visiting Associate Professor Thomas Hout
hout@business.hku.hk
MBA Elective 2009
1. Operating and Marketing in China
2. Innovation in China and India
3. Operating and Marketing in India
4. New Generation of Companies
5. How Globally Competitive Are China and India
6. Managing in a “Flatter” World
7. Globalization of Chinese Companies
8. Globalization of Indian Companies
9. Multinationals Operating in China and India
10. The Future for India and China
China  India  globalization  strategies  risk-management  branding  filetype:pdf  media:document 
december 2010 by jerryking
For SAS, Asia Offers Risks and Potential - WSJ.com
NOV. 21, 2010 | WSJ| By JASON CHOW. "SAS "uses companies'
historical data to work out their futures."...Q: Where is growth in Asia
coming from? A: We do a lot of work in risk management for banks. We
make sure their risk computations are up-to-date and [help them] with
their anti-money laundering. ...We see a lot of growth from the
pharmaceutical sector. SAS has a tool to analyze clinical trials &
effectiveness of a particular drug. We're seeing more pharmaceutical
drug trials move to Asia, esp. in India....Essentially, anybody who's
got data. And lots of it. Of course, there are things like social-media
analysis that don't require your data. We can tell you what people think
of you or your brand without any data from you. We can search out every
blog & tweet that's been done about you for the last 30 days or
whatever time frame, and tell you how people are thinking of your
brand. We call it sentiment analysis. We're having a hard time keeping
up with customer demand on that product.
SAS  Asian  analytics  social_media  reputation  money_laundering  pharmaceutical_industry  sentiment_analysis  risk-management  historical_data 
november 2010 by jerryking
Risk Management and Innovation
November 8, 2010 | BusinessWeek | By Mark W. Johnson
innovation  risk-management  Innosight 
november 2010 by jerryking
Obsessed to a Fault - WSJ.com
APRIL 18, 2006 | WSJ | By LIAM PLEVEN. GeoVera, among the
largest sellers of quake insurance to homeowners on the open market in
California, is trying to buck the trend and make a profit at the same
time. About 40% of its business -- worth roughly $100 M in annual
premiums -- comes from selling quake insurance there. "What sets us
apart is our focus on catastrophe underwriting. That's all we do,"...The
company is a case study in the broader economics of disaster
insurance...GeoVera executives believe they can use their brains -- by
devouring data on the homes it insures, and keeping a close eye on the
location of its customers and the type of coverage they're buying -- to
make the company profitable. They analyze mounds of information about
the 115,000 homes the company insures: What are they made of? When were
they built? What types of foundations do they stand on? How solid is the
soil beneath them? Are they on a slope? How close are they to
California's 200-odd active faults?
catastrophes  insurance  disasters  GeoVera  underwriting  data_driven  risk-management  competingonanalytics  massive_data_sets  haystacks 
october 2010 by jerryking
One Page Term Sheet for Angel Investors - Basil Peters
The 'One Page' Term Sheet for Angel Investors

This is not a theory or academic exercise. This term sheet is in actual use today by angel funds in BC.
investors  investing  start_ups  term_sheets  risk-management  Pat_Condon  angels 
july 2010 by jerryking
Drilling for Better Information - WSJ.com
JUNE 28, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by L. GORDON CROVITZ.
The financial crisis and BP share a common attribute: regulatory
failure.
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  risk-assessment  risk-management  oil_spills  BP 
july 2010 by jerryking
Think Smarter About Risk - WSJ.com
JUNE 14, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By MOSHE A. MILEVSKY.
Too many investors may be taking big chances with their money because
they aren't considering the most important asset of all: themselves.
"Eventually some clever teenager will develop an iPod app in which users
specify background demographic information about themselves, where they
live, educational achievements, job history, etc. They will then
receive daily updates on the value of their entire personal balance
sheet, including their human-capital value and personal beta. At first
this mark-to-market value of You Inc. will be crude, blunt and
controversial. But over time—and by tapping into the vast array of data
from the clouds—this valuation will be refined to the same level of
accuracy as any closing price on a mutual fund....One thing, though, is
certain: Knowing your personal beta will help you manage your total risk
more effectively. And that is always a safe strategy."
howto  risk-assessment  insurance  massive_data_sets  cloud_computing  personal_finance  derivatives  human_capital  hedging  risk-management  VaR  personal_data  personal_beta  quantified_self  risks  demographic_information 
june 2010 by jerryking
FT.com / UK - Fear factor has UK plc seeking legal remedies
By Rachel Sanderson

Published: May 7 2010
Vodafone last month launched an application called Vodafone Mobile
Recording, which enables regulated companies to record and archive
mobile conversations, voicemails and text messages to protect against
any losses from disputes.

The move comes amid expectations that the FSA will soon extend its
"taping rules" on recording communications transactions to mobile
phones.
mobile_phones  regulation  risk-management  compliance  FSA 
may 2010 by jerryking
Business.view: Not up in the air
Apr 20th 2010 | From The Economist online. The volcanic
disruption is a classic example of the sort of low-probability event
that might once have been marginal for businesses, but has acquired far
greater significance thanks to the growing interconnectedness of the
globalized economy.
risk-assessment  risk-management  natural_calamities  global_economy  low_probability 
april 2010 by jerryking
Insuring the Future
March 21 2008 | Memebox | By Jack Uldrich. The future will
largely be determined by the insurance industry’s ability to understand –
and thus underwrite – the future of various technologies. "For example,
in spite of genomics incredible potential to violently disrupt the
insurance industry’s business model of pooling risk, it is possible the
insurance industry will facilitate the adoption of genetic testing by
mandating that patients for certain diseases be genetically tested prior
to the administration of any new drug in order to make sure that that
drug will work effectively on the patient." "As F. Scott Fitzgerald
once said, “The test of a first-rate mind is the ability to hold two
diametrically opposed ideas in your head at the same time.”"
insurance  opposing_actions  Peter_Bernstein  future  innovation  risk-management  disruption  genetics  genomics  dual-consciousness  F._Scott_Fitzgerald 
february 2010 by jerryking
Ceres on Katrina, insurance, and weather-related risk
9 Sep 2005 | Grist | by David Roberts. Ceres, the "national
network of investment funds, environmental organizations and other
public interest groups working to advance environmental stewardship on
the part of businesses," has just released a report on the enormous
challenge to the insurance industry represented by escalating
weather-related losses. You can read the executive summary here and the
full report here (PDF).
insurance  risk-management  weather 
january 2010 by jerryking
Hedge Funds Pluck Money From Air in $19 Billion Weather Gamble
August 1, 2007 | Bloomberg | By Peter Robison. "Brokers
attribute much of the increased volume to hedge funds, which buy and
sell the contracts based on minute changes in forecasts. Fears of global
climate change are helping too, drawing in companies from power
suppliers to ski resorts that want to transfer the risk of adverse
weather to outside investors. "
weather  derivatives  risk-management  climate_change 
january 2010 by jerryking
6 Ways to Protect Dealerships
Aug 2009 | Ward's Dealer Business Vol. 43, Iss. 8; pg. 24 | by Michael Charapp.
risk-management  dealerships  automotive_industry 
december 2009 by jerryking
The weather risk management industry's climate forecast and data needs
Aug 2002 | Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society |
Richard J Murnane, Michael Crowe, Allan Eustis, Susan Howard, et al.
ProQuest  weather  risk-management  Pelmorex  data 
december 2009 by jerryking
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