NPR logo Risk Analysis? Anyone? Hello?

Risk Analysis? Anyone? Hello?

No market for risk. David Kestenbaum/NPR hide caption

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David Kestenbaum/NPR

I went to a conference on risk analysis yesterday, but most of the chairs were empty. Presumably the risk analysts were off fixing their equations.

This is one of the professions that's been blamed for not seeing the crisis coming. Risk managers are supposed to be worst-case-scenario people, thinking and calculating how things can go wrong.

A couple people I talked to at the conference maintain they did see problems coming, but no one listened to them.

Chris Whalen told me that when institutions make big decisions, the risk analysis folks aren't in the room.

"Typically no," he said. "That's going to change. But the risk manager has not been at the table."

Listen here for a great story Adam did about why the risk models failed. It all goes back to a Scottish botanist in 1827.