Comprehensive Actuarial Risk Evaluation
The new CARE report has been posted to the IAA website this week.
It raises a point that must be fairly obvious to everyone that you just cannot manage risks without looking at them from multiple angles.
Or at least it should now be obvious. Here are 8 different angles on risk that are discussed in the report and my quick take on each:
- MARKET CONSISTENT VALUE VS. FUNDAMENTAL VALUE – Well, maybe the market has it wrong. Do your own homework in addition to looking at what the market thinks. If the folks buying exposure to US mortgages had done fundamental evaluation, they might have noticed that there were a significant amount of sub prime mortgages where the Gross mortgage payments were higher than the Gross income of the mortgagee.
- ACCOUNTING BASIS VS. ECONOMIC BASIS – Some firms did all of their analysis on an economic basis and kept saying that they were fine as their reported financials showed them dying. They should have known in advance of the risk of accounting that was different from their analysis.
- REGULATORY MEASURE OF RISK – vs. any of the above. The same logic applies as with the accounting. Even if you have done your analysis “right” you need to know how important others, including your regulator will be seeing things. Better to have a discussion with the regulator long before a problem arises. You are just not as credible in the middle of what seems to be a crisis to the regulator saying that the regulatory view is off target.
- SHORT TERM VS. LONG TERM RISKS – While it is really nice that everyone has agreed to focus in on a one year view of risks, for situations that may well extend beyond one year, it can be vitally important to know how the risk might impact the firm over a multi year period.
- KNOWN RISK AND EMERGING RISKS – the fact that your risk model did not include anything for volcano risk, is no help when the volcano messes up your business plans.
- EARNINGS VOLATILITY VS. RUIN – Again, an agreement on a 1 in 200 loss focus is convenient, it does not in any way exempt an organization from risks that could have a major impact at some other return period.
- VIEWED STAND-ALONE VS. FULL RISK PORTFOLIO – Remember, diversification does not reduce absolute risk.
- CASH VS. ACCRUAL – This is another way of saying to focus on the economic vs the accounting.
Read the report to get the more measured and complete view prepared by the 15 actuaries from US, UK, Australia and China who participated in the working group to prepare the report.
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