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Risk (Qualitative Finance Book 1) by [Tavakoli, Janet M.]
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Risk (Qualitative Finance Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 213 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 425 KB
  • Print Length: 213 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Lyons McNamara (March 1, 2016)
  • Publication Date: March 1, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01BA0E068
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #804,457 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title is perhaps too broad. A more accurate (and horribly awkward) title might be, "(1) Where we are now inside the USA financial system in terms of structural problems in USA finance and its regulation, feeding back with agency and information asymmetry problems, posing risks for you as an investor, mainly in reference to fixed income investments and credit risks, and posing broader risks to us all, and (2) How post 2008 regulators and regulations haven't fixed a bunch of bad sausage-making by said financial entities." The title's "your" then mainly refers to an investor of any size (especially given the new reach and granularity of investment products to snare the little guy), but can be stretched to anyone curious about this stuff. The masses' being incurious was a big driver of 2008's fiasco, and continues to be a driver of the problems mapped out here.
She hits her points breezily. Again the broad title "risk" might overreach or over-promise. This is not a treatise or comprehensive work. It does not pretend to show broad and diverse points of view. It is a critique of recent activities and foibles of certain actors, big and pervasive as they are: bankers (shadow bankers too) and regulators.
I appreciate the brevity. I raised an eyebrow at being sold what is a near booklet at full-book new-release price. However, my biggest peeve as a very bookish guy is slogging through filler. The modern recipe seems, one decently interesting concept plus tons of filler and repetition of said concept with lots of semi-useless anecdotes slathered on, equals one over-hyped contemporary book. Time is often better spent just seeing the title concept, reading the publisher's blurb, reflecting on the idea, and moving on.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Risk makes for a thought provoking and timely read, particularly for the less numerate desirous of a better understanding of risk management. Banks, insurers and regulators are all complicit in mismanagement of risk which has left financial institutions wanting for oversight with teeth and their reprobates free to carry on with impunity. Janet Tavakoli without hesitation calls them out. The book appeals as much to the individual as to the institutional investor and risk manager. In finance, unfortunately, prudence and transparency would appear more cyclical than evolutionary. Avarice and opacity prevail.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Alas, poor Quant, I knew him well...

In the olden days when life was truly random, the quant was high priest. His ascension was marked by fraud, in the persons of Greenspan, Rubin Summers and their acolytes. Janet is advocating return to sanity, and analyzing balance sheets and situations to enable better investment decisions. At risk of a little spoliation "If investment returns followed a normal distribution, you would expect a five standard deviation credit event would happen every 7000 years." Or so.

Delving into reality, I know of no 7000 year civilizations, though 7000 years back they didn't speak English, or write books. Maybe the Giants had one of these 7000 year ascendancies, but they have left no trace. When I see 300yo America with 200M of GDP and 19T on the debt clock, and Obama dancing the tango in Argentina, RISK is the word that springs to mind. Early adopters are generally considered crazy people...I'm going there...but I'm not there yet.

If you're managing a large portfolio of more than $100, it would profit you to read through this book. You might gain some insight. You might enjoy it.
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