Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

Risk Management – Why is it so difficult?

Here are some clips on the recent downturn in the economy. Yesterday on CNBC, Nouriel Roubini and Nassim Taleb were guests. That Dr. Taleb would put up with the silliness that is CNBC, is surprising in itself. He has been very critical of CNBC for insisting on explanations for what is happening in the market today and for predictions of what will happen tomorrow. If you can’t give CNBC a stock tip, they aren’t interested. Maybe they should watch Jim Cramer’s show on CNBC, where Mr. Cramer explains how dangerous stock tips are. As you can tell from the video, the CNBC talking heads are incapable of learning. They ask the same questions that were foolish years ago, are foolish in the video, and will continue to be foolish centuries from now.


Added 01/22/2013 –

Image modified from BigCharts.

That is what the S&P 500 index looked like at the time of the broadcast – and at the time I wrote this.

Dr. Taleb and Dr. Roubini were predicting that things would not look good for the next two years.

Below is what the same S&P 500 index looked like after two years of not listening to Dr. Taleb and Dr. Roubini.


Dr. Roubini and Dr. Taleb share the opinion that one big problem is that the same people are still in charge. Both wrote about the current financial problems long before others admitted that there were problems. Rather than get rid of the leaders, who are herding the economy over a cliff, we give these leaders more authority and more money. Ben Bernanke has suggested something similar to the current economic stimulus plan. Dr. Bernanke suggested throwing money from a helicopter to fix the economy, earning him the nick name Helicopter Ben.

Photo source

This is not much different from listening to a couple of scientists trying to get some anti-vaccinationists to understand that denying their children immunity (refusing to vaccinate) is a bad idea. Since the talking heads do not understand, the talking heads try to come up with reasons to ignore what they do not want to hear.

Giving money to the people who caused the problem is still not the solution. The economists and bankers caused the problem. Here is another clip of Dr. Taleb explaining the scientific basis for economic science.

That clip is no longer available.

If you like listening to what Dr. Taleb is saying, there is a much longer video (almost an hour and a half long) called The Future Has Always Been Crazier Than We Thought. I strongly recommend the whole thing.

How does this relate to EMS?

We also never seem to get rid of the people at the top. The people who create the environment for failure. At least when we do get rid of the people at the top, it is not for the right reasons. We tend to replace them with similar failure generators. We get rid of the individual who behaved as expected in the failure environment. We need to change to an environment that makes it difficult to ignore problems.

We believe in all sorts of dangerous ideas about EMS. See the post above this for examples.