The rich and powerful can avoid risk

The American Prospect
by Robert A. Johnson

05/06/09

Recent discussions of the malfunction of Wall Street have centered on the role of statistical models that failed to accurately account for all possible outcomes. These less likely results, known as ‘tail risks,’ were underestimated by the models. Now the ‘quants’ on Wall Street and academia have a new research agenda, which is to figure out how to fix those models. … The challenges related to the distribution and management of risk are much more formidable than a technical fix because they are not technical problems. Managing and balancing risk in the future is an organic human problem, a political problem, and a problem of power. The question is how to remedy the fact that some players have the power to shift risks and to use the political process for insurance, while others do not...

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Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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