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Books about the future of Risk

. Books about the future of Risk


Against the Gods
by Peter L. Bernstein

With the stock market breaking records almost daily, leaving longtime market analysts shaking their heads and revising their forecasts, a study of the concept of risk seems quite timely. Peter Bernstein has written a comprehensive history of man's efforts to understand risk and probability, beginning with early gamblers in ancient Greece, continuing through the 17th-century French mathematicians Pascal and Fermat and up to modern chaos theory. Along the way he demonstrates that understanding risk underlies everything from game theory to bridge-building to winemaking.






Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation
by Edward Chancellor

"The longest bull market in history" is a term that gets used a lot these days. Since 1990, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen some 8,000 points, from around 2,700 in January 1990 to nearly 11,000 today--a boom by anyone's standards, including Edward Chancellor's. In Devil Take the Hindmost, Chancellor takes an entertaining, albeit sobering, look at the history of speculative manias and the mass delusion that surrounds them.

Beginning with the "tulipomania" that gripped Holland in the 1630s, Chancellor chronicles the formations and irrational euphoria that can inflate markets, from shares of South Sea stock in England in the 1720s to real estate in Japan in the late 1980s. He characterizes the speculative spirit as one that loves freedom, detests cant, and abhors restrictions. From the tulip Colleges of the seventeenth century to the Internet investment clubs of the late twentieth century, speculation has established itself as the most demotic of economic activities. Although profoundly secular, speculation is not simply about greed. The essence of speculation remains a Utopian yearning for freedom and equality which counterbalances the drab rationalistic materialism of the modern economic system with its inevitable inequalities of wealth.

But it's precisely such inevitability that always seems to win out, when "sharply rising prices followed by sudden panic without cause" bring speculative excess to an abrupt end.

Chancellor makes Devil Take the Hindmost especially relevant to today's U.S. investors by using his analysis of past speculative manias as a lens through which to view the current bull-market binge. No matter what his or her current investment outlook is - bull or bear - anyone with capital to invest would do well to spend a thoughtful weekend with this book. Highly recommended. - Harry C. Edwards


Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

If the prescriptions for getting rich that are outlined in books such as The Millionaire Next Door and Rich Dad Poor Dad are successful enough to make the books bestsellers, then one must ask, Why aren't there more millionaires? In Fooled by Randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a professional trader and mathematics professor, examines what randomness means in business and in life and why human beings are so prone to mistake dumb luck for consummate skill. This eccentric and highly personal exploration of the nature of randomness meanders from the court of Croesus and trading rooms in New York and London to Russian roulette, Monte Carlo engines, and the philosophy of Karl Popper. Part of what makes this book so good is Taleb's ability to make seemingly arcane mathematical concepts (at least to this reviewer) entirely relevant in evaluating and understanding everything from the stock market to the success of those millionaires cited in the aforementioned bestsellers. Here's an articulate, wise, and humorous meditation on the nature of success and failure that anyone who wants a little more of the former would do well to consider. Highly recommended. - Harry C. Edwards





Risk: A Practical Guide for Deciding What's Really Safe and What's Really Dangerous in the World Around You
by David Ropeik, George Gray

For those who can't find enough time in a day to worry about all of life's possible dangers, there's a new book to help them prioritize. Risk: A Practical Guide for Deciding What's Really Safe and What's Really Dangerous in the World Around You is a fascinating assessment of the level of threat posed by various illnesses, accidents, environmental pollutants and other factors. David Ropeik, director of risk communication at the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, and his colleague George Gray, a toxicologist, evaluate such real or perceived menaces as cell phones, biological weapons, pesticides, mad cow disease and medical errors. For each entry, they analyze the potential hazards and offer tips for reducing risk. They also include a "Risk Meter" - a chart that shows likelihood of exposure and severity of consequences at a glance.


Risk From the CEO and Board Perspective: What All Managers Need to Know About Growth in a Turbulent World
by Mary Pat McCarthy, Tim Flynn

Especially in these turbulent times, good risk management is about exploiting opportunities for growth while protecting value already created. To do this, corporate leaders must, first and foremost, learn to manage the chain of cause and effect between risk and shareholder value. Now Risk shows them how. As vice chairs of the international consulting giant KPMG L.L.P., authors Mary Pat McCarthy and Tim Flynn are uniquely qualified to offer executives and senior managers this ultimate primer on risk and its optimization and management.

- Packed with case studies and exclusive interviews with executives of many Fortune 500 companies
- Explores the most successful risk management strategies now in use internationally and offers prescriptions for adapting them to any company

 





The Art of War
by Sun-tzu

For more than two thousand years, Sun-tzu's The Art of War has provided leaders with essential advice on battlefield tactics and management strategies. An elemental part of Chinese culture, it has also become a touchstone for the Western struggle for survival and success, whether in battle, in business, or in relationships. Now, in this crisp, accessible new translation, eminent scholar John Minford brings this seminal work to life for today's readers. Capturing the literary quality of the work, Minford presents the core text in two formats: first, the unadorned ancient words of wisdom ascribed to Sun-tzu; then, the same text with extensive running commentary from the canon of traditional Chinese commentators. A lively, learned introduction and other valuable apparatus round out this authoritative volume.





The Prince
by Niccolo Machiavelli, Daniel Donno

When Lorenzo de' Medici seized control of the Florentine Republic in 1512, he summarily fired the Secretary to the Second Chancery of the Signoria and set in motion a fundamental change in the way we think about politics. The person who held the aforementioned office with the tongue-twisting title was none other than Niccolò Machiavelli, who, suddenly finding himself out of a job after 14 years of patriotic service, followed the career trajectory of many modern politicians into punditry. Unable to become an on-air political analyst for a television network, he only wrote a book. But what a book The Prince is. Its essential contribution to modern political thought lies in Machiavelli's assertion of the then revolutionary idea that theological and moral imperatives have no place in the political arena. "It must be understood," Machiavelli avers, "that a prince ... cannot observe all of those virtues for which men are reputed good, because it is often necessary to act against mercy, against faith, against humanity, against frankness, against religion, in order to preserve the state." With just a little imagination, readers can discern parallels between a 16th-century principality and a 20th-century presidency. - Tim Hogan



Utopia
by Sir Thomas More

16th-century classic by brilliant humanist, churchman and scholar envisioned a patriarchal island kingdom that practiced religious tolerance, in which everybody worked, all goods were community-owned, and violence, bloodshed and vice were nonexistent. Forerunner of many later attempts at establishing "Utopias" both in theory and in practice.





International Political Risk Management: Looking to the Future
by Theodore H. Moran, Gerald T. West

International Political Risk Management: Looking to the Future is the third in a series of volumes based on the MIGA-Georgetown University Symposium in International Political Risk Management. Like its predecessors, this volume offers expert assessments of needs, trends, and challenges in the international political risk insurance industry. These assessments come from a dozen senior practitioners from the investor, financial, insurance, broker, and analytical communities.

The volume leads off by examining the lessons that can be learned from recent investment losses, insurance claims, and arbitrations. It then turns to consider what the future may hold for coverage of project finance projects in emerging markets as well as recent public-private collaboration trends in the issuance of political risk insurance. It concludes by reconsidering both old and new political risk insurance products and innovations that seek to expand the tools that international investors can utilize to mitigate political risk abroad.

A current in-depth analysis from the front lines of international political risk management, this book will be a valuable guide to those who are considering private sector investments and privatizations in the developing world, whether as equity sponsors, lenders, or insurers. It should also be of interest to independent analysts and scholars working in the field of political risk management.





Recommend books, please contact: books@clubofamsterdam.com


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