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Economists' Hubris - The Case of Risk Management

Shahin Shojai

Ernst & Young LLP

George Feiger

Contango Capital Advisors

February 10, 2010

Journal of Financial Transformation, Vol. 28, pp. 25-35, April 2010

In this, the third paper in the Economists’ Hubris series, we highlight the shortcomings of academic thought in developing models that can be used by financial institutions to institute effective enterprise-wide risk management systems and policies. We find that pretty much all of the models fail when put under intense scientific examinations and that we still have a long way to go before we can develop models that can indeed be effective. However, we find that irrespective of the models used, the simple fact that the current IT and operational infrastructures of banking institutions does not allow the management to obtain a holistic view of risk and the silos they sit within means that instituting an effective enterprise-wide risk management system is as of today nothing more than a panacea. The main worry is that it is not only academics who fail to realize this fact, practitioners also believe that these models work even without having a holistic view of the risks within their organizations. In fact, we can state that this is the first paper in which we highlight not only the hubris exhibited by economists but also the hubris of practitioners who still believe that they are able to accurately measure and manage the risk of the institutions they manage, monitor, or regulate.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 10

Keywords: Risk management, financial risk management, failure of academic thought, market efficiency, financial institutions, financial technology

JEL Classification: G14, G21, G24

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Date posted: February 16, 2010 ; Last revised: March 17, 2010

Suggested Citation

Shojai, Shahin and Feiger, George, Economists' Hubris - The Case of Risk Management (February 10, 2010). Journal of Financial Transformation, Vol. 28, pp. 25-35, April 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1550622

Contact Information

Shahin Shojai (Contact Author)
Ernst & Young LLP ( email )
One More London Place
London, London SE1 2AF
United Kingdom
George Feiger
Contango Capital Advisors ( email )
111 Sutter Street, Suite 975
San Francisco, CA 94104
United States
415-677-6700 (Phone)
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