A Revelation

A Revelation

I have written about it before, and I am sure I will write about it again. … how financial risks that devastate firms aren’t random occurrences, as if the gods on Olympus toss dice to determine a company’s fate. No. There are causes. And these are usually...
Is Risk Management a Job or a Career?

Is Risk Management a Job or a Career?

There are few life decisions as consequential as your choice of career. Get it wrong, and you’re in for a world of discontent. Perhaps you currently have a risk management position and are wondering if you can make it a career. Or maybe you are just starting out...
Fooled By Black Swans

Fooled By Black Swans

Imagine you are presenting to the board about risk management. The presentation is going well, and you are about to finish up when a board member stirs. He hasn’t said a word the entire meeting, so this is his chance to look smart. He asks “What are you...
List Of Risk Management Failures

List Of Risk Management Failures

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Nowhere is George Santayana’s famous admonition more applicable than in the field of risk management. As a reminder of all the ways things can go wrong, I maintain an informal list of prominent risk...
What The 4 T’s Overlook

What The 4 T’s Overlook

If you have been active in risk management for a while, you have probably heard of the 4 T ‘s. These—at a very high level—are the four possible responses to risk. Conveniently, each begins with the letter T: Tolerate Treat Transfer Terminate They appear in...
Nickels In Front of Bulldozers

Nickels In Front of Bulldozers

There is an old saying on trading floors: Watch the trader who makes consistent money. He is the one who is going to blow up. In his book When Genius Failed, on the 1998 failure of hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM), Roger Lowenstein shares a compelling...
Locking Out Shareowners (For a Fee)

Locking Out Shareowners (For a Fee)

It is the most sinister development in finance since robo-signing of foreclosure documents: corporations locking shareowners out of their own annual meetings. The pretext is internet technology that supposedly allows shareowners to participate “virtually”...
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...
How To Steal a Corporate Election

How To Steal a Corporate Election

There are plenty of ways to steal an election. Some require guns. Others depend on bribes. Perhaps the simplest involve misleading ballots. For its corporate election this year, American Tower Corporation (AMT) has produced a humdinger. Item 04 of their ballot...

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