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Without risk there is no progress. Dr Kevin Fong, Space Shuttle: The Final Frontier, BBC 2011
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life. Muhammad Ali
Risk is our business. That’s what this starship is all about. That’s why we’re aboard her. Star Trek: Return to Tomorrow s2e20, Kirk
The greater the risk the greater the profit: 62nd Rule. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine s2e7: Rules of Acquisition, Quark to female
It’s very easy to generate performance by taking on more risk. And so what you need to do is compensate for risk-adjusted performance and that’s where all the bodies are buried. Raghuram Rajan
New York 2010 Jon Corzine: M F Global. Its business was brokerage ... Risk: MF Global would start taking risks itself in the market. Bankers II: Risking It All, BBC 2013
Nothing on this scale had been predicted by Value at Risk. Nearly three trillion dollars was lost. bid.
In today’s world real power lies in the hands of an elite group of anonymous men in open-plan offices. The men who control the world’s bond market … Bonds are the magical link between the world of high finance and the world of political power. Niall Ferguson, The Ascent of Money e2: Human Bondage, Channel 4 2008
After the rise of banks the birth of the bond market was the next big revolution in the history of finance. It created a whole new way for governments to borrow money. ibid.
There are bonds out there worth around $85 trillion. ibid.
Between around 1810 and 1836 the five sons of Meyer Amschel Rothschild rose from the obscurity of the Frankfurt ghetto to attain a position of unequalled power in international finance. ibid.
The South’s idea was to use cotton as collateral to back its bonds. ibid.
The most basic financial impulse of all is to save for a rainy day. Niall Ferguson, The Ascent of Money e4: Risky Business
We’re stuck with random uncertainty. ibid.
It leaves you wondering why we bother spending so much on insurance policies every year. ibid.
A new idea began to emerge in Japan – that the state should take care of risk. ibid.
In theory derivatives offer a new way to hedge against an uncertain future. ibid.
In our time we’ve witnessed the zenith of global finance. In 2006 the world’s total economic output was worth around $47 trillion. The total value of stock and bond markets was roughly $119 trillion. More than twice the size. And the amount outstanding of the strange new financial life-form known as derivatives was $473 trillion. Ten times larger ... This is the story of financial globalisation. Niall Ferguson, Ascent of Money e6: Chimerica
According to [George] Soros’s Theory of Reflexivity, financial markets can’t possibly be perfectly efficient much less rational ... His biggest coups came from being right about losers not winners. And the greatest of these was among the most momentous speculative hits in all of financial history. On September 16th 1992 with the British £ in big trouble I watched as Soros put out a contract on the Bank of England ... So sure was he that the £ would drop that he bet $10 billion. ibid.
The Nobel Prize in Economics. It seemed as if Intellect had triumphed over Intuition. As if rocket science had taken over from risk-taking. Equipped with their magical black box, the partners in LTCM seemed poised to make money far beyond the wildest imaginings of even George Soros. And then in the summer of 1998 when every self-respecting hedge-fund manager should have been playing with his yacht something happened that threatened to blow the lid right off the Nobel Prize winner’s black box: Reality started to misbehave ... On Monday August 17th 1998 a giant asteroid smashed into Planet Finance. ibid.
The only chance of survival was to find a White Knight to rescue them. And the most powerful Knight in town was none other than George Soros. It was the ultimate humiliation: the Quants from Planet Finance begging for a bail-out from the Prophet of Irrational Unquantifiable Reflexivity ... Fear that Long Term’s failure could trigger a general financial meltdown, the New York Federal Reserve hastily brokered a multi-billion-dollar bailout by fourteen Wall Street banks. ibid.
The ascent of money has seldom been smooth. Time and again it’s been punctuated by big painful crises. ibid.
American borrowers have come to rely on Chinese savers, a symbiotic relationship between China and America that I call Chimerica. ibid.
So enormous have Chinese savings become in recent years they’ve enabled globalisation to do the most almighty U-turn. Previously, it was the rich English speakers who lent money to the poor Asian periphery. But now it’s the Chinese who are lending money to the Americans. Welcome to the strange new hybrid country of China and America – I call it Chimerica. ibid.
The People’s Republic of China has become banker to the United States of America. ibid.
What starts with competition for Olympic medals could end in a battle over dollars if the Chinese decide one day to cut off their credit line to the American empire. Maybe as its name suggests Chimerica is nothing more than a chimera ... The really big crises come just seldom enough to be beyond the living memory of the people who run today’s companies, banks and funds. ibid.
The Ascent of Money has been one of the key factors in human progress, an extraordinary story of innovation, intermediation and integration that has done as much as anything to help people escape from the drudgery of subsistence agriculture. And yet Planet Finance can never quite escape from the gravitational force of Planet Earth. Because the Quants can never take full account of the human factor – our tendency to underestimate the probability of black swans. Our propensity to veer from euphoria to despondency. Our chronic inability to learn from History. ibid.
The biggest risk is not taking any risk ... In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks. Mark Zuckerber
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. T S Eliot
Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing. Warren Buffett
So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? Hunter S Thompson
Risks inherent in economic activities can be dealt with in a wide variety of ways. In addition to the commodity speculation and inventory management discussed in the previous chapter, other ways of dealing with risk include stocks, bonds, and insurance. There are also other economic activities analogous to stocks, bonds, and insurance which deal with risks in ways that are legally different, though similar economically. Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics
Risks that you control are much less a source of outrage than risks that are out of your control. Peter Sandman
GM is a really uncertain imprecise risky technology ... They just don’t know what they’re doing. And we shouldn’t take that risk. Lord Peter Melchett, policy director Soil Association
Over the last fifteen years, I and other scientists have put the FDA on notice about the potential dangers of genetically engineered foods. Instead of responsible regulation we have seen bureaucratic bungling and obfuscation that have left public health and the environment at risk. Philip Regal, Professor of Ecology, Evolution, & Behavior, University of Minnesota, 1998
There are a lot of people in Europe in favour of biotechnology, who are prepared to take risks, but a considerable number are resistant and see no benefits. Many people see biotech taking us into the realm of unknown dangers ... This is a Pandora’s box and a lot of people wonder whether it's worth opening it. George Gaskell, London School of Economics
The process of genetic engineering always involves the risk of altering the genetics and cellular functioning of a food organism in unanticipated ways. These unanticipated alterations can result in GE foods being allergenic, toxic, or reduced in nutritional value. John Fagan, geneticist Maharishi University of Management Iowa
I am taking a calculated risk. What’s the upside? I overcome my nausea … No more self-loathing … The Office US s3e17: Cocktails, Jan, NBC 2007