Risk Management Quotes

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404 Comments on “Risk Management Quotes”

  1. riskviews Says:

    The First CRO Report:

    Wretched, ephemeral race, children of chance and tribulation, why do you force me to tell you the very thing which it would be most profitable for you not to hear? The very best thing is utterly beyond your reach: not to have been born, not to be, to be nothing. However, the second best thing for you is: to die soon.

  2. riskviews Says:

    All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire.

  3. riskviews Says:

    “Increases in complexity did not come with more diversity. On the face of it, market participants looked more and more different in their legal status, investment strategies, and business objectives. It has now become apparent that, behind these veils of diverse colors, there was a profound uniformity in the approach to risk, its measurement, as well as in the drivers of risk appetite. This uniformity had very destabilizing consequences.”
    Jean-Pierre Landau, Bank of France, June 2009

  4. riskviews Says:

    “in all undertakings in which there are risks of great losses, there must also be hopes of great gains.”
    Alfred Marshall

  5. riskviews Says:

    “Lehman caused Lehman’s insolvency.”
    Ben Bernake, April 2010

  6. riskviews Says:

    “Most successful people have had big lucky breaks at birth and a succession of smaller ones thereafter.”
    Lucy Kellaway

  7. riskviews Says:

    “How far is Life Rational? Not very Far”
    Frank Knight

  8. riskviews Says:


”Evolution does not teach by convincing, but by destroying.”


”It is much easier to scam people for billions than for just millions”


Education makes the wise slightly wiser, but makes the fool vastly more dangerous.


In science you need to understand the world; in business you need others to misunderstand it.

    Nassim Taleb

  9. “The greater risk for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”


  10. riskviews Says:

    “Le Laisser-faire c’est fini, et la fin d’un monde.” N. Sarkozy

  11. riskviews Says:

    “In the past, some boards may have seen risk oversight as a compliance function essentially designed to meet regulatory capital requirements at minimum constraint on leveraged utilisation of the balance sheet. Such attitudes should have no place in the proper governance of risk in future.”

    Sir David Walker

  12. riskviews Says:

    “it is extraordinary to me that the idea of buying dollar bills for 40 cents takes immediately with people or it doesn’t take at all. It’s like an inoculation. If it doesn’t grab a person right away, I find that you can talk to him for years and show him records, and it doesn’t make any difference. They just don’t seem to be able to grasp the concept, simple as it is.” Warren Buffett

    Not about risk management but, if you can get your head around Buffett’s comment about upside, there is a logical counterparty about downside. “Either the idea of buying dollar bills at $2 seems risky to someone immediately or it never will. If the response is, ‘if that is what the market rate is’ then just dig into your pocket and look for some dollars to sell.” Dave Ingram

  13. riskviews Says:

    it can be stated without risk that mainstream economics is definitely too simplistic about human behavior assumptions.

    Kurt Bayer

  14. riskviews Says:

    So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
    If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
    If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
    Sun Tzu

  15. riskviews Says:

    “Mankind endures an episode of great wealth destruction at least once every century” Barton Biggs

  16. riskviews Says:

    “we don’t think that it’s good business in the long term to do bad things to your clients, even if you make a profit doing it”
    John Allison

  17. riskviews Says:

    Wall St. has done an incredible job at pulling the wool over the eyes of government and others.
    Michael Mayo

  18. riskviews Says:

    ‘We did eat our own cooking – and we choked on it’.

    ‘Regulators simply didn’t have the visibility, tools or authority to protect the stability of the financial system as a whole’.

    ‘Many firms were too highly leveraged, took on too much risk and did not have sufficient resources to manage those risks in a rapidly changing environment’.

    John Mack

    ‘We are grateful for the taxpayer assistance we have received. Over the course of the crisis, we as an industry caused a lot of damage’.

    Brian Moynihan

  19. riskviews Says:

    ‘We did make mistakes, and there were things we could have done better’.

    ‘We need a regulatory system that provides for even the biggest banks to be allowed to fail, but in a way that does not put taxpayers or the broader economy at risk’.

    ‘No institution, including our own, should be too big too fail’.

    ‘A regulator should be able to terminate management and boards, and liquidate assets’.

    ‘In many instances, stronger regulation may have been able to prevent some of the problems’.

    ‘Those arguing for a return of Glass-Steagall are effectively arguing that Bear Stearns was a more stable entity than JPMorgan Chase. I don’t see how that is tenable’.

    Jamie Dimon

  20. riskviews Says:

    ‘I do think the behaviour is improper. We regret the consequence that people have lost money’.

    ‘Knowing now what happened, whatever the standards were, it didn’t work out well. Of course I would do something different’.

    ‘If we abandon, as opposed to regulate, market mechanisms created decades ago, such as derivatives, we may end up constraining access to capital and the efficient hedging and distribution of risk, when we do come through this crisis’.

    ‘There is enough blame to go around’.

    Lloyd Blankfein

  21. riskviews Says:

    “The simultaneous selling of securities to customers and shorting them because they believed they were going to default is the most cynical use of credit information that I have ever seen. When you buy protection against an event that you have a hand in causing, you are buying fire insurance on someone else’s house and then committing arson.”

    Sylvain R. Raynes

    • riskviews Says:

      What I fail to understand is why anyone would want to be a customer of a business where that is a part of their business model.

  22. riskviews Says:

    Surely it is better to be careful a hundred times than to be killed just once? Kevin Dowd

  23. riskviews Says:

    I can calculate the motions of the heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people. Sir Isaac Newton

  24. riskviews Says:

    There was an epidemic of Nelsonian Eye Syndrome on Wall Street and London. And bankers, private-equity partners and hedge-fund partners acknowledge – or at least some do – that the cause was good, old-fashioned greed induced by a turbocharged remuneration system that promised riches in return for minimal personal risk.

    Robert Preston

  25. riskviews Says:

    “To be prepared is half the victory”
    Miguel De Cervantes

  26. riskviews Says:

    “We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis,” Ben Bernanke 2005

  27. riskviews Says:

    “We focus on risk before we focus on return. The best investors do not target return. They focus first on risk.”

    Seth Klarman

  28. riskviews Says:

    Barings was always described as this wake up call that nobody would ever forget, but the fact is, only lip service was ever played to the fact that risk management needed to improve
    Nick Leeson

  29. riskviews Says:

    One of the best and simplest lessons that can be learned from Warren Buffett is to learn things before you need the knowledge.
    Alice Schroeder

  30. riskviews Says:

    The only resolutional procedure that will control moral hazard is one in which some creditors will take a hit if a large firm fails. Wiping out shareholders is not enough—creditors of these highly leveraged firms must be at risk.
    William Poole

  31. riskviews Says:

    “Different investors place different prices on risk.”
    – Michael Lewis, Liar’s Poker

  32. riskviews Says:

    Scan—don’t stare. Our senses get dulled by focusing on just one point. When you look across and around, you will see more and better.

    Ron Zimmer

  33. riskviews Says:

    Risk intelligence is our ability compared to competitors to assess a risk. It depends on informational advantages and how these are applied.
    David Apgar

  34. riskviews Says:

    If there’s a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It’s not about our analysis … It’s about our response.

    Dick Cheney, November 2001

  35. riskviews Says:

    “if you don’t know where you’re going, then any road will do”
    Lewis Carroll

    “Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.”

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  36. riskviews Says:

    I mean happiness comes from facing challenges and going out on a limb and taking risks.
    Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider

  37. riskviews Says:

    When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.
    – Oscar Wilde

  38. riskviews Says:

    “we’ve really been in a bull market since ‘82, so this has been a good period to do this kind of stuff.”

    “I’m not interested in educating the world
    on our strategy, and I won’t get into the nuances of how we manage risk.”

    “We’re perfectly happy making the commissions”

    “The strategy is the strategy and the returns are the returns.”

    B. Madoff
    May 2001

  39. riskviews Says:

    I’ve become a Doomsday Prophet so I can scare gullible people. I’m telling everyone the world will end in year 2000. My compelling logic is that 2000 is a big round number. It’s B-I-I-I-G and R-O-O-UND . . .

    Scott Adams

  40. riskviews Says:

    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    W Shakespeare Hamlet, scene v

    Seems that he knew about Horatio’s mortgage CDO models.

  41. riskviews Says:

    Residual risk is like the dirt on the floor that cannot be picked up by the broom and dustpan. Rather than pursue residual risk down to the last iota, it is swept aside and will probably not be noticed.

    – From Certified Information Systems Auditor All-In-One Study Guide

  42. riskviews Says:

    “One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.”

    Bertrand Russell

  43. riskviews Says:

    The trouble with normal is it always gets worse.
    Bruce Cockburn

  44. riskviews Says:

    When Models turn on, Brains turn off
    Til Schuermann

  45. riskviews Says:

    Subjective safety is rather a different thing from actual safety.
    David Hembrow

  46. riskviews Says:

    Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler. Albert Einstein

  47. riskviews Says:

    “Very few people understand the essence of the model…the most dangerous part is when people believe everything coming out of it.” David X. Li

  48. riskviews Says:

    “For now we see through a glass, darkly”
    1 Corinthians 13

  49. riskviews Says:

    “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.” Job 38:4

  50. riskviews Says:

    Heisenberg’s discovery of the uncertainty principle did not alter the behavior of quantum particles one iota, but social theories, whether Marxism, market fundamentalism or the theory of reflexivity, can affect the subject matter to which it refers.

    George Soros

  51. riskviews Says:

    “an investor in a CDO2 would need to
    read in excess of 1 billion pages to understand fully the ingredients.”

    Andrew G Haldane
    Bank of England

  52. riskviews Says:

    We are all risk managers. Whether buying a house, crossing the road, or considering whether or not to have our child vaccinated, our decisions will be influenced by our judgement about the behaviour of others, and theirs by their judgements about what we might do. The world of the risk manager is infinitely reflexive.

    John Adams

  53. riskviews Says:

    “Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.”

    “Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”

    “The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.”

    “You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.”

    “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

    “Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”

    “When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.”

    “In the insurance business, there is no statute of limitation on stupidity.”

    Warren Buffett

  54. riskviews Says:

    “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you”

    Fredrich Nietzsche

  55. riskviews Says:

    Every problem arrives with gifts in its arms,we seek problems because we need their gifts.

    Submitted by Isaac Momanyi

    • riskviews Says:

      There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts. Richard Bach

  56. riskviews Says:

    “The consensus of judgment of the millions whose valuations function on that admirable market, the Stock Exchange, is that stocks are not at present prices over-valued.”

    Joseph Lawrence
    Early 1929

  57. riskviews Says:

    “October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February.”

    Mark Twain

  58. riskviews Says:

    A good rule of thumb is to assume that “everything matters.” Richard Thaler

  59. Evelyn Says:

    Albert Einstein on mathematics but applicable to risk management, too:

    Not everything that can be counted, counts; and not everything that counts can be counted.

    As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain they do not refer to reality.

    We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

  60. riskviews Says:

    “To have numbers seems to be more important than whether the numbers are reliable.”
    Jon Danielsson

  61. riskviews Says:

    “The Law of Risk and Light…
    Risks in the light shrink, Risks in the dark grow
    Return for Risks in the light shrinks faster than risk
    Return for Risks in the dark does not grow as fast as risk”

    David Ingram

  62. riskviews Says:

    “The technical explanation is that the market-sensitive risk models used by thousands of market participants work on the assumption that each user is the only person using them.”

    “Paradoxically, the observation of areas of safety in risk models creates risks, and the observation of risk creates safety”

    “if we rely on market prices in our risk models and in value accounting, we must do so on the understanding that in rowdy times central banks will have to become buyers of last resort of distressed assets to avoid systemic collapse.”

    Avinash Persaud

  63. riskviews Says:

    “The job of the Federal Reserve is to take away the punchbowl just when the party gets going” William McChesney Martin

    Ammended by Allan Greenspan to be to keep the party going for as long as possible.

    Further ammended by Ben Bernake to be to send a car around to pick up folks for the next party and to promice to buy their drinks.

  64. Dave Ingram Says:

    One of the saddest days of my life was when my grandson – and he’s a particularly brilliant grandson – went to college. He was good at mathematics. And after he had been at college for a year or two I asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up. He said, “I want to be a financial engineer.” My heart sank. Why was he going to waste his life on this profession?

    A year or so ago, my daughter had seen something in the paper, some disparaging remarks I had made about financial engineering. She sent it to my grandson, who normally didn’t communicate with me very much. He sent me an email, “Grandpa, don’t blame it on us! We were just following the orders we were getting from our bosses.” The only thing I could do was send him back an email, “I will not accept the Nuremberg excuse.”

    Paul Volker

  65. Dave Ingram Says:

    In finance, you can never reduce risk outright; you can only try to set up a market in which people who don’t want risk sell it to those who do. But in the CDO market, people used the Gaussian copula model to convince themselves they didn’t have any risk at all, when in fact they just didn’t have any risk 99 percent of the time. The other 1 percent of the time they blew up. Those explosions may have been rare, but they could destroy all previous gains, and then some.

    Felix Salmon

  66. riskviews Says:

    “It can be as elegant as you want if it doesn’t have to work”

    Author unknown, Applies to all models…

    Steve Britt

  67. riskviews Says:

    Finally, one from the Apollo 13

    Gene Kranz: I don’t care about what anything was DESIGNED to do, I care about what it CAN do


  68. riskviews Says:

    More Brooks quotes that applies to Economic Capital Models:

    The management question, therefore, is not whether to build a pilot system and throw it away. You will do that. […] Hence plan to throw one away; you will, anyhow.

    Even perfect program verification can only establish that a program meets its specification. […] Much of the essence of building a program is in fact the debugging of the specification.

  69. riskviews Says:

    Here is a Brooks quote about efficiency that I think applies to risk management…

    … well over half of the time you spend working on a project (on the order of 70 percent) is spent thinking, and no tool, no matter how advanced, can think for you. Consequently, even if a tool did everything except the thinking for you – if it wrote 100 percent of the code, wrote 100 percent of the documentation, did 100 percent of the testing, burned the CD-ROMs, put them in boxes, and mailed them to your customers – the best you could hope for would be a 30 percent improvement in productivity. In order to do better than that, you have to change the way you think.

  70. riskviews Says:

    don’t know if it was the first observation about the 9 women and one month, but I think it is most popular from Fred Brooks’ The Mythical Man-Month, which is a classic about software development project management. The idea being that since debugging is necessarily linear (you debug, test, then debug the new bugs that arose from fixing the old ones), you can’t parallelize it by adding more developers. Even worse, since communication requirements increase by n^2 with each additional developer but the amount of work increases only linearly, adding more developers to an already late project will probably make it later because your current developers will spend more time communicating with the new developers than the new developers will add to getting things done.

    Keeping with the project management theme, another favorite of mine is the self-referential Hofstadter’s law: “A project always takes longer than you expect, even if you take into account Hofstadter’s law.”

    Going back to risk, I always liked the retort to Twain’s “There are three kinds of lies, lies, damned lies, and statistics” by Frederick Mosteller: “It is easy to lie with statistics, but it is easier to lie without them.”


  71. riskviews Says:

    Some others that I use, but can’t remember their origin:

    You can’t leap a chasm is two bounds..

    Some thing’s take time; you can’t make a baby in one month by making 9 women pregnant.

    You can’t be a ‘bit’ pregnant.


  72. riskviews Says:

    Dicken’s start to a Tale of Two cities also reminds us that risks have an upside and a downside – we often forget this when talking to other managers and focus on the downside:

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way

    Steve Marsh

  73. riskviews Says:

    Rumsfeld has a couple that, while they are not directly about risk, contain useful lessons for risk managers:

    “I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past. I think the past was not predictable when it started.”

    “Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

    Steve Marsh

  74. riskviews Says:

    Keynes warned: “It is dangerous to apply to the future inductive arguments based on past experience unless we can distinguish the broad reasons for what it (the past) was.”

  75. riskviews Says:

    Financial markets, then, are volatile and unpredictable. Importantly, the markets themselves are far more volatile than the underlying businesses that they represent, which collectively account for their aggregate market capitalization. Put another way, investors are more volatile than investments.
    Economic reality governs the returns earned by our businesses, and Black Swans are unlikely. But emotions and perceptions—the swings of hope, greed, and fear among the participants in our financial system—govern the returns earned in our markets. Emotional factors magnify or minimize this central core of economic reality, and Black Swans can appear at any time.
    John Bogle 2007

  76. riskviews Says:

    “the application of the laws of probability to our financial markets is badly misguided.”
    John Bogle 2007

  77. Isaac Momanyi Says:

    Every problem arrives with gifts in its arms,we seek problems because we need their gifts.

  78. riskviews Says:

    “The first step in the risk management process is to acknowledge the reality of risk. Denial is a common tactic that substitutes deliberate ignorance for thoughtful planning.”

    Charles Tremper

  79. riskviews Says:

    “There is much reason to be apprehensive about the long-run dangers created in a much wider field by the uncritical acceptance of assertions which have the appearance of being scientific.” Fredrick Hayek

  80. riskviews Says:

    To have numbers seems to be more important than whether the numbers are reliable.

    George Cooper in The Origin of the Financial Crisis

  81. riskviews Says:

    “THERE ARE IDIOTS. Look around.” Larry Summers

  82. riskviews Says:

    “The causes were many: interest rates too low too long, allowing speculation on un-owned assets, a surplus of cash that begged to be invested, etc.; but the bottom line problem was one of perception. I grew up on a farm and a cow pie even if chopped into small pieces, mixed with other like items, painted gold, and doused in perfume is still manure. The market let the small pieces, paint and perfume confuse them. John Deere is a great company, but the one piece of equipment they won’t stand behind is their manure spreader. Those investing in and creating new markets should be so wise.”


  83. riskviews Says:

    the only virtue of being an aging risk manager is that you have a large collection of your own mistakes that you know not to repeat

    Donald Van Deventer

  84. Very interesting selection of quotes.

    I’d like to add a simple one. A phrase that my fellow Project Management instructor Mike McKenna often quotes about risk management. He says:

    “Risk management is project management for adults”.


  85. riskviews Says:

    Philip K. Dick “Reality is that which, when you
    stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

    Which raises an interesting question about the nature of EMH because it “goes away” the more people believe in it.

    Humans are born with a susceptibility to that most persistent and debilitating disease of intellect: self-deception. The best of all possible worlds and the worst get their dramatic coloration from it. As nearly as we can determine, there is no natural immunity. Constant alertness is required.

    Frank Herbert
    Chapterhouse: Dune

    You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
    Abraham Lincoln, (attributed)
    16th president of US (1809 – 1865)

    Perhaps originally from a friend of Lincoln’s who ran a circus.

    I’ve done the calculation and your chances of winning the lottery are identical whether you play or not.
    Fran Lebowitz

    ” When sorrows come – they come not single spies
    – but in battalions ”

    Hamlet (Act IV – Scene V) William Shakespeare

    To be honest, there is no such thing as smart money or dumb money. When you allocate your money to money managers, you are ahead of the game if they are not stealing. Howard Lindzon

    The predictions embodied in an equilibrium model of pure theory cannot be applied to the real world. The description of the economic process through time will require a different model.

    The Hayek-Keynes Debate — Lessons for Current Business Cycle Research
    John P. Cochran and Fred R. Glahe

  86. riskviews Says:

    Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.

    Albert Einstein

  87. riskviews Says:

    “Maxwell was a rare mathematical genius who happened to believe a problem had not been truely understood until it could be described without equations”
    George Cooper

  88. riskviews Says:

    “Bank failures are caused by depositors who don’t deposit enough money to cover the losses due to mismanagement” Dan Quayle

  89. riskviews Says:

    “High leverage is unsafe, not just for a company but the entire economy….LBOs are reducing the safety. Management loses the power to do many things. It has no margin for error and less margin for addition- al risk.” Franco Modigliani 1988

  90. riskviews Says:

    “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts”. Daniel Patrick “Pat” Moynihan (1927-2003).

  91. riskviews Says:

    The best defense against the atom bomb is not to be there when it goes off.

    (Perhaps this is a risk management strategy as well?)

  92. riskviews Says:

    Better to have a simple model backed by excellent peple than the other way around.
    Paul Carrett

  93. Frank Ashe Says:

    The Lord Kelvin quote on August 26 is a misleading one. The really dangerous risks are those we cannot measure – they are much harder to think about, and so we retreat to discussing the risks which we can measure.

  94. Frank Ashe Says:

    Yogi Berra (possibly apocryphal). Quoted by James Montier.

    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

  95. riskviews Says:

    Lord Kelvin said, “When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the stage of science.”

  96. Dave Ingram Says:

    “Think about how stupid the average person is. And by definition, half the people are stupider than that.” George Carlin

  97. riskviews Says:

    “Has anything escaped me? I trust that there is nothing of consequence which I have overlooked?”

    Breadth of view is one of the essentials of our profession. The interplay of ideas and the oblique uses of knowledge are often of extraordinary interest.

    “Perhaps when a man has special knowledge and special powers like my own, it rather encourages him to seek a complex explanation when a simpler one is at hand.”

    Well, Watson, we seem to have fallen upon evil days.

    “It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”

    My dear Watson, there we come into those realms of conjecture where the most logical mind may be at fault.

    “All my instincts are one way, and all the facts are the other…”

    “Nothing clears up a case so much as stating it to another person.”

    “Watson, if it should ever strike you that I am getting a little over-confident in my powers, or giving less pains to a case than it deserves, kindly whisper “Norbury” in my ear, and I shall be infinitely obliged to you.”

    Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

  98. riskviews Says:

    Never ask a barber if you need a haircut. Warren Buffet

    The fact that people are full of greed, fear, or folly is predictable. The sequence is not predictable. Warren Buffett

    What we learn from history is that people don’t learn from history. Warren Buffett

    “I deplore false precision in math,” he says, explaining that he does not need exact numbers for most investment decisions. (WSJ) Warren Buffett

    “ In the business world, the rear view mirror is always clearer than the windshield. ” Warren Buffett

    “The four most dangerous words in investing are ‘This time, it’s different”‘ Sir John Templeton

    “It is interesting that the (investment) industry has invented new ways to lose money when the old ways seemed to work just fine” John Stumpf

  99. riskviews Says:

    If we do not recognize the fundamental difference that exists between price and value, then we are doomed. Historically this distinction did not really matter in corporate finance because the two, price and value, were supposed to be the same, to remain equal forever. Who has been telling us that? These people do not live in New York; they live in Chicago. The Chicago School of Economics has been telling us for a century that price and value are identical, i.e. that they are the same number .

    Sylvain Raynes

  100. riskviews Says:

    Among the illusions which have invested our civilization is an absolute belief that the solutions to our problems must be a more determined application of rationally organized expertise… The reality is that our problems are largely the product of that application.
    Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West
    John Ralston Saul
    The Free Press, 1992

  101. Dave Ingram Says:

    “If I had better foresight, maybe I could have improved things a little bit. But frankly, if I had perfect foresight, I would never have taken this job in the first place.”
    – RICHARD F. SYRON, Freddie Mac’s chief executive.

  102. riskviews Says:

    It was obvious that their profits were simply cash borrowed from destiny with some random payback time.

    Nassim Taleb

  103. dave Ingram Says:

    You should never make predictions, especially about the future.
    Samuel Goldwyn

  104. riskviews Says:

    Given our inevitably incomplete knowledge
    about key structural aspects of an ever-changing
    economy and the sometimes asymmetric
    costs or benefits of particular outcomes, a central
    bank needs to consider not only the most
    likely future path for the economy but also the
    distribution of possible outcomes about that
    path. The decision makers then need to reach
    judgment about the probabilities, costs and
    benefits of the various possible outcomes under
    alternative choices for policy.
    Alan Greenspan

  105. riskviews Says:

    “A foreign policy aimed at the achievement of total security is the one thing I can think of that is entirely capable of bringing this country to a point where it will have no security at all.”
    — George F. Kennan, “The Illusion of Total Security” in The Atlantic Monthly, # 194 (August 1954)

  106. riskviews Says:

    “The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair”

    “Don’t Panic”

    “We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!”

    Douglas Adams

  107. riskviews Says:

    “Computers have enabled people to make more mistakes faster than almost any invention in history, with the possible exception of tequila and hand guns”
    Mitch Ratcliffe

  108. riskviews Says:

    Most of the time the capital markets act like there is no parameter risk
    In times of crisis they act like there is only parameter risk
    Todd Bault

  109. riskviews Says:

    a theory’s assumptions always are and ought to be unrealistic. Further, we should attempt to make them more unrealistic in order to increase a theory’s fruitfulness.

    In Defense of Unrealistic Assumptions
    Satoshi Kanazawa

  110. riskviews Says:

    Never base your budget requests on realistic assumptions, as this could lead to a decrease in your funding.

    Scott Raymond Adams (1957 – )

  111. riskviews Says:

    Speak Truth to Power

    18th Century Society of Friends

  112. riskviews Says:

    “The trouble ain’t that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain’t distributed right.” Mark Twain

  113. riskviews Says:

    If in a hole, stop digging.
    recent WSJ headline


    When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
    -Will Rogers

  114. riskviews Says:

    Happy endings are for stories that haven’t finished yet.
    Mr. & Mrs. Smith

  115. riskviews Says:

    The nail that sticks up gets hammered down
    Japanese saying

    I have a right to be blind sometimes.
    Lord Nelson (when he ignored orders to disengage and won the day)

    “when the map and the territory don’t agree, always believe the territory” Gause and Weinberg – describing Swedish Army Training

  116. riskviews Says:

    Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.
    Nikola Tesla

    Captain Renault: Major Strasser has been shot. Round up the usual suspects.

    What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.
    John Ruskin

  117. riskviews Says:

    Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
    Douglas Adams

  118. riskviews Says:

    Yesterday’s bullet won’t kill you. Tomorrow’s bullet just might.
    Bernie Provan

    To win without risk is to triumph without glory. Pierre Corneille, ‘The Cid,’ 1636 French dramatist (1606 – 1684)

    Honesty pays, but it doesn’t seem to pay enough to suit some people. F. M. Hubbard

  119. riskviews Says:

    Good Risk Management fosters vigilance in times of calm and instills discipline in times of crisis. Dr. Michael Ong

  120. riskviews Says:

    “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch,” Robert A Heinlein

  121. riskviews Says:

    It seems to be a law of nature, inflexible and inexorable, that those who will not risk cannot win.
    John Paul Jones

  122. Cory Zass Says:

    How many shook their heads when they first heard this quote:
    There are “known knowns”.
    [These are things we know that we know.]
    There are “known unknowns”.
    [That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know.]
    But there are also “unknown unknowns”.
    [There are things we don’t know we don’t know.]
    Donald Rumsfeld (Feb 12, 2002)

  123. riskviews Says:

    You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away and know when to run. The Gambler Kenny Rogers

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