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The Illusion of Control
Jón Daníelsson
A challenge to the conventional wisdom surrounding financial risk, providing insight into why easy solutions to control the financial system are doomed to fail
Finance plays a key role in the prosperity of the modern world — but it also brings grave dangers. We seek to manage those threats with a vast array of sophisticated mathematical tools and techniques of financial risk management. Too often though, we fail to address the greatest risk — the peril posed by our own behavior ‎
Critical risk is generated from within, through the interactions of individuals and perpetuated by their beliefs, objectives, abilities, and prejudices. The widespread belief that risk originates outside the financial system frustrates our ability to measure and manage it, and the likely consequences of new regulations will help alleviate small-scale risks but, perversely, encourage excessive risk taking. Lessons from past and recent crises show that diversity is the best way to safeguard our financial system.‎