Tag: risk management

Economist Allison Schrager joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss her new book, An Economist Walks Into A Brothel: And Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk.

Risk is a universal fact of life, but some of us manage more of it than others. Schrager examined how a broad cross section of people handle it: horse breeders in Kentucky, members of an elite tank unit during the Gulf War, paparazzi who stalk celebrities, prostitutes in Nevada brothels. She lays out five principles for dealing with risk and explains how financial tools can help guide people through uncertainty.

Cascadia Subduction and Denial

 

PowerPoint PresentationI know. “Cascadia Subduction and Denial” sounds like the latest twist on PC college campus sexual consent forms, but this is actually about the way we think about risk … and don’t.

I remember watching an online video of the 2011 tsunami coming ashore in Japan. How easily, almost casually, the ocean reached in and swept everything away. And not the rice paper houses that insular or merely wilfully unknowing Americans might have wanted to imagine, but objects of recognizable solidity; big buildings, parking structures, shopping centers,  highways, 18 wheelers. Picked up, tumbled, tossed away, gone.

The planet has its own clock that ticks away its own time. Occasionally, inevitably, a geologic hour is struck, and the inevitable happens: the earth’s surface shudders, buckles and cracks apart. Solid rock drops abruptly out from under whatever it was bearing up: trees, hills, cities, the ocean. The ocean reacts by forming itself into gigantic waves that move outward from the center, lifting boats, birds, our plastic debris and carrying all along until it flops itself down upon the land.