Animal Spirits

Animal Spirits

Last week, some hedge fund manager made fleeting headlines when he announced he was bullish because “Animal spirits matter.” Are you paying attention? I hope not. As a risk manager, don’t be co-opted by finance’s latest loaded phrase:...
Just Kill Me – United Airlines’ Risk Management

Just Kill Me – United Airlines’ Risk Management

Don’t ask “how could this have been avoided?” That is the wrong question. By now, everyone has seen the graphic videos of United Airlines forcibly removing a passenger from an overbooked flight, humiliating and bloodying him as he was dragged,...
Rubbernecking the Oscars Envelopegate

Rubbernecking the Oscars Envelopegate

If you are a risk manager, don’t ignore what happened at Sunday’s Oscars. You must respond. As details emerge about how the wrong envelope was passed, traditional and social media are abuzz. Everyone’s fascinated. It is like rubbernecking at an...
Snappy Comeback to Latest Criticism of VaR

Snappy Comeback to Latest Criticism of VaR

Last week, the Swiss pulled their peg, and swissie soared. Part of the fallout—surprise, surprise!—is criticisms of value-at-risk. This time The Economist is leading the charge, writing: … Another likely casualty is the ‘value-at-risk’ models banks...
This Is What Democracy Looks Like.

This Is What Democracy Looks Like.

Yesterday, I headed over to Dewey Square for my first visit to a local outpost of Occupy Wall Street. They call themselves Occupy Boston. I found more than I expected, and less. The closely spaced tents are a cacophony of colors, nestled among office buildings. To one...
The Trend is Your Friend: Value-at-Risk and Amaranth

The Trend is Your Friend: Value-at-Risk and Amaranth

This week, Jeff Skilling received a well-deserved sentence of 24 years for his creativity at Enron. I wouldn’t take the sentence too seriously. Remember that Mike Milken—the Junk Bond King of the 1980s—was sentenced to ten years. After two years, he was...

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