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:...
Watch Your Back. Watch Your Sales Force.

Watch Your Back. Watch Your Sales Force.

Salespeople are like “hired guns”. They play a unique role within firms. But when things go wrong, hired guns can become loose cannons. There are two ways this typically happens. Recent events provide an example of each. One is the Wells Fargo phony...
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...
Conflict Over Risk Management: A Case Study

Conflict Over Risk Management: A Case Study

Conflict is a recurring problem for financial risk management. At your own firm, are risk managers dismissed as “risk police”? Are risk committee meetings contentious? Do traders hoard information? If you answered “yes” to some of these, you...
I’ll Be Gone. You’ll Be Gone.

I’ll Be Gone. You’ll Be Gone.

In his new book The Accidental Investment Banker, Jonathan Knee introduces us to the phrase IBG YBG, which means “I’ll be gone. You’ll be gone.” This might be whispered between investment bankers when an inconvenient fact comes to light during...
Inaugural Article

Inaugural Article

Ask a practitioner of the origins of financial risk management, and he might say it emerged in response to financial blow-ups of the early 1990s. Or he might say it emerged out of efforts by the Basel Committee to standardize bank capital requirements globally. Or he...

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