The Anonymous Widower

Risk Assessment – Japanese Style

Obviously, the nation that gave the world, that amazing game called Endurance, the method of risk assessment at Tokyo Zoo will be different to anywhere else in the world. This video shows them dealing with a rhino,that has been assumed to have escaped.

This scene is doubly funny for me, as C always laughed like a drain, when Clive James showed the clips of Endurance.

February 8, 2012 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Transparency International and the Blackrock Sovereign Risk Index

I’d never heard of Transparency International until yesterday, when it was interviewed about corruption in Moscow and the problems of investing there on the BBC.

They publish a Corruption Perception Index for around 180 countries world-wide. The link points to their data for 2010.  It is interesting reading.

The Blackrock Sovereign Risk Index does what it says on the tin and says how dodgy it is to deal in sovereign risk for various countries.

I wonder if the two are related, in that is a country low on the Country Perception Index, high on the Blackrock Sovereign Risk Index?

I shall be doing some investigating.

February 8, 2012 Posted by | Finance, World | , | Leave a comment

Practical Risk Taking

David Spiegelhalter is Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at Cambridge University. His personal home page doesn’t look like most you find for academics of his august reputation.

We will all have the chance to see him on television tonight.

Not in some economics program about what the various rating agencies think of the euro or a discussion on the risk of smoking, but in the first edition of the BBC’s new series called Winter Wipeout. In an article in The Times today, he said that he considered it an obligation under my terms of employment to apply.

What did the University’s Health and Safety Department say?  He does not disclose this in The Times.

Let’s hope though, that after his performance, where I hope he does well, that the politicians, bankers, businessmen and the general public take statistics more seriously. And act on what they say they should do!

December 17, 2011 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

This Guy Has a Big Job On

David Spiegelhalter is the Professor of Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge. He has written a very good article on the subject of risk with respect to insurance in today’s Times.

So he has a big job on to knock sense into politicians, lawyers, insurance companies and the general public.

But it will make little difference, as we are the most statistically-untrained generation for perhaps a thousand years.

By the way his superb name is literally translated as mirror owner.

February 25, 2011 Posted by | News, World | , | Leave a comment

Simon Calder

Simon Calder is my favourite travel writer and I spent quite a bit of the journey from Peterborough to Newcastle reading the travel section in The Independent.  Or should I say his travel section, as a lot of it seems to have been written by him.

For a start there was a piece about how to spend two days in San Francisco, although I don’t think it was written by Simon.  And as I am going there in May, it is something that appeared at the right time.

Simon’s editorial was entitled “The week of travelling dangerously” and was about the problems of the Icelandic volcanic ash. The last two paragraphs of a very good article sum up why we ended up in such a mess.

Travel, like life, is about risk management. Flying is far safer than travelling by road. Britain has the best aviation record in the world over the past 20 years, thanks to an obsession with safety on the part of pilots, air-traffic controllers and engineers. But there are limits, which were overstepped this week by a spokesman for the aviation regulators who insisted that only “complete safety” was acceptable. The only way to achieve zero risk: ground all flights, forever. If we all switch to cars, the increase in risk to us, and other road users, increases dramatically. This was the week of travelling dangerously.

“Complete safety” is a laudable but unachievable aim. To suggest otherwise gives credence to the assertion among some pilots that CAA actually stands for “Campaign Against Aviation”.

Taking up Simon’s point about increased risk in cars, how many people have been injured or perhaps even killed in their journeys home by perhaps dubious methods?  Thank goodness, I’ve not heard of any yet.

He also had a marvellous article about travelling on a container ship.  I’ll do that one day.

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

Taking Risks

In this article in The Times yesterday Carl Mortished was arguing that we need more risk-takers. He ends with these two paragraphs.

The solution to our economic problems is not to tie everything down but to unwind the screws, loosen the bolts. We want true risk-takers, those people who centuries ago might finance a ship destined for a spice island. Someone truly prepared to risk the shirt on their backs, who fears that his “monstruosity” might bite off his own head.

Financial capital is now fleeing Britain, heading to the Far East. A long queue of companies is chasing the money, including our own Prudential, which is floating a business on the Chinese stock market. The true venturers are over there, not in Britain.

He is absolutely right.

So am I still taking risks?

Yes!

For a start I’m going round the world. Not much you’d think, but I’ve lost my wife and youngest son in recent years, five weeks ago I had a small stroke and the medics have said I’ve got a leaky heart valve and the heart rhythm is up the creek.

So take risks and enjoy life.  Live the quiet life and you’ll never understand what it’s all about.

April 22, 2010 Posted by | Business, Finance | | Leave a comment

   

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