Thursday, April 24, 2008
Risk: 365 Ideas
Having been away for far too long from the generalized posting I need to continue doing more of, after finally getting some more rest, last night I realized what I needed to be doing here. It was very vivid for me, very, very strong: simple but frequent epigramic writing, on the 'big ideas' such as risk, love, energy, reward, history, etc:
Risk is life. Take for instance a young man who finally musters the courage to approach the beautiful woman who he not only knows is quite possibly out of his reach and beyond his pedigree, and is likely to be turned down, yet has a strong desire to know her. While he is indeed taking an emotional risk in approaching her for a date and risk assuming more rejection if this has been his history, yet if he is aware as he greatly ages he will sooner rather than latter come to see that NOT approaching her is an even bigger risk: "If I hide in this corner, no one will ever find me, and the longed for love will never come! How many more chances like this will come?!"
Or take a conservative or as we say 'risk averse' investor who feels that they cannot afford the possibility of significant loss of capital by buying a stock which would also create the chance of increasing it. Nor do the safer bet of bonds afford them comfort, for if interest rates were to go up, and if for some unforeseen reason they were to needed to liquidate sooner rather than latter, their principle would decrease, offsetting the benefits of safe payout of fixed income or coupon. The real fact of credit risk has been amply evidenced by the recent sub-prime repurcussions seen widely in financial markets.
So if our would be investor were to sit in cash, they would see it eroded by not only the corrosion of inflation which makes their money worth less and less each year, but the pernicious decline in the American dollar where overseas the true value of their 'safe money' is worth less and less with no end in sight.
To avoid risk in so called 'safe cash', even that is a decision. No decision IS also a decision. Sitting in cash means that they have elected NOT to denominat in Euros or Yen or Reals or Pounds or Peso's, and given steep dollar decline, loss of value has come to roost, amidst fiscal profligate ways, concurrent wars, and mispending, all during tax cuts for the rich.
To stay at a job as a stable employee can seem to avert risk but it can be a far greater risk not to expand yourself in the job market.
To undergo a difficult if not risky surgery may mean loss of capacity, but in some instances not to undergo treatment might mean a far worse event: loss of limb, or capacity, or even life. Life is risk.
To convert our systems to a more sustainable energy system involves great cost to consumers and companies and economies, but not to adapt involves far worse: certain failure and decay under outmoded and harmful petrocarbon utilization.
Risk is life itself. Assuredly not all of life is risk, but risk, or the law of hazard is eveywhere.