Complexity

Taxonomy of Uncertainty

Taxonomy of Uncertainty

We review and synthesize into a taxonomy a number of related concepts and terms describing uncertainty, risk, randomness and model risk

Reading Time: 14 min.
Risk, Randomness, Uncertainty and other Ambiguous Terms Uncertainty versus Risk is a popular discussion topic among risk managers, especially after major risk management disasters. The debate can get really hairy and drift into deep philosophical areas about the nature of knowledge etc. Yet the significance of having an as clear as possible language toolkit around these terms should not be underestimated. Practical risk management typically shuns too deep excursions into the meaning of things, yet that is not quite compatible with the use of sophisticated methods and tools (such as a Risk Model ) that assumes an understanding of the scope and limitations of “knowledge”.
Monte Carlo Simulation of the US Electoral College

Monte Carlo Simulation of the US Electoral College

Using a simplified version of the rules of the US Electoral College system we illustrate how the use of Monte Carlo techniques allows exploring systems that show combinatorial explosion

Reading Time: 9 min.
The role of simulation in risk management and decision support A Simulation is a simplified imitation of a process or system that represents with some fidelity its operation over time. In the context of risk management and decision support simulation can be a very powerful tool as it allows us to assess potential outcomes in a systematic way and explore what-if questions in ways that might otherwise be not feasible. Simulation is used when the underlying model is too complex to yield explicit analytic models (An analytic model is one can be “solved” exactly or with standard numerical methods, for example resulting in a formula).
Why is risk so poorly defined?

Why is risk so poorly defined?

Reading Time: 5 min.
A survey of existing definitions of risk: When looking up the meaning of Risk we are confronted with a surprising situation. There is no satisfying and authoritative general purpose one-line definition that we can adopt without second thoughts. Let us start with the standard dictionary definitions: The online Merriam Webster Dictionary defines risk as the possibility of loss or injury The online Cambridge Dictionary opines that risk means the possibility of something bad happening The Oxford English (Concise, Hardcover!
Seven Heavens of Finance and the Open Risk API

Seven Heavens of Finance and the Open Risk API

Reading Time: 8 min.
Seven Heavens of Finance and the Open Risk API: Back-to-basics is not salvation It has become trendy since the financial crisis to be wearing an anti-complexity hat in matters concerning the shape of the financial system. This is an understandable reaction to the entangled constructions that had sprung to existence in the hyper-leveraged markets of the naughty noughties. Yet shifting through the ruminations and proclamations one cannot help but get the impression that there is a sort of denial of the complexity that underlies the real economy.
Securitisation versus Banking – the Shootout

Securitisation versus Banking – the Shootout

Reading Time: 14 min.
Securitisation versus Banking: The ever elusive CMU dream There is(/was) renewed interest in EU-land over deepening a capital markets union, aka CMU. It is among the initiatives being pursued by the Commission in order to help accelerate growth in the European Union. The initiative encompasses many elements, both around equity (shares) and debt markets. One important pillar of the CMU aims to re-launch some version of an EU securitisation market. This segment was never really defined in a EU-wide basis.