All posts by Text Medic

8 Ways to Look at Deforestation Risk

“Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air,” wrote Franklin D. Roosevelt. Looking at the economic side, what does the loss of forests mean to global markets? “Deforestation is a risk to the supply chain,” said Gabriel Thoumi, Director Capital Markets at Climate Advisers. “It puts billions of dollars at risk.” He was the first of four presenters at the May 4, 2017, webinar sponsored by the Global Association of Risk Professionals. He began with a summary of the activities of Chain Reaction Research, a group which has been actively assessing the sustainability of the supply chains of […]

Environmental Risk: 5 Lessons Learned

“Deforestation causes severe environmental damage,” said Hilde Jervan, chief advisor of the Council of Ethics of the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) of Norway. The scale of deforestation of tropical forests is large, and it is occurring within areas that are ecologically important, thereby aggravating the loss of biodiversity. The GPFG has strong ethical guidelines passed by the Norwegian Parliament in 2004. Jervan discussed these in light of the actual example of tropical deforestation. She was the second of four presenters at the May 4, 2017, webinar on Supply Chain Risk due to Deforestation sponsored by the Global Association of […]

Volatility Clustering

When looking at stock market time series, one notices immediately a certain “jitter” or “noise” in the daily returns. This is ordinary volatility. Every once in a while, volatility becomes higher and stays that way—for a while. “Volatility clustering occurs when the volatility of the returns becomes correlated from one day to another,” said Attilio Meucci, CEO and founder of Advanced Risk and Portfolio Management (ARPM). He was the sole presenter at the May 11, 2017, webinar on Modeling and Forecasting Volatility Clustering sponsored by the Global Association of Risk Professionals. Meucci began by showing an example of volatility clustering […]

A Moving Target

When it comes to changing the Dodd-Frank Act (DFA), the new Trump administration “may find repeal and replace is not really a good strategy,” said Tim McTaggart, partner at Stinson Leonard Street, LLP. He was the second of two presenters during the webinar on planned changes to the Dodd-Frank Act, April 27, 2017, timed to coincide with the 100th day since Donald Trump became U.S. president. The webinar was sponsored by the Global Association of Risk Professionals. The changes could involve a reconfiguration or readjustment of the regulatory process, coupled with “some really interesting personnel appointments,” McTaggart said. It’s a […]

The First 100 Days

In the first 100 days of the Trump presidency, has financial risk increased, decreased, or stayed the same? “One of the key platforms of the Trump administration was a promise to dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act,” said Candice Nonas, managing consultant at Resources Global Professionals. “What will be the impact of repeal on consumer protection?” She was one of two presenters during the one-hour webinar sponsored by the Global Association of Risk Professionals on April 27, 2017, which is the 100th day since Donald Trump became U.S. president. Nonas noted that the Dodd-Frank Act is actually an amalgam of several pieces […]

Weatherproofing Bonds

When it comes to managing climate risk, what is the wise investor to do?  Low-carbon investing is one possibility. We recently interviewed Marielle de Jong, head of fixed -income quant research at Amundi Asset Management.  She said, “The purpose of low-carbon investing is not to penalize companies that produce a lot of CO2. The question is whether the production line is carbon efficient, whether there is no unnecessary spoilage. That is why the selection criterion is the intensity, the tonnage of CO2 per added value, and not the tonnage itself.” She cautioned, “It is a complex task to measure CO2  […]

Weatherproofing Equities

Risks in finance are many and varied. How can a forward-looking researcher choose which areas need the most attention? We recently interviewed Patrick Bolton, professor of business at Columbia University and asked what led to his interest in hedging climate risk. “I am interested in long-term investing, especially how large long-term institutional investors should think about the risk-return trade-offs they face,” he said. “Long-term investors have to think harder about risks that do not yet appear material to short-term investors. One category of such risks is what is now commonly referred to as environmental, social and governance factors, or in […]

“A Series of Deals, Lost 18 Times”

“This book is about a black swan event that turned out to be the largest restructuring in Canadian history,” the moderator Marlene Puffer said as she welcomed dozens of people to a breakfast book launch, held at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto on November 9, 2016. In financial markets, the year 2007-8 was a precarious time—“things could have gone either way,” she noted. Ultimately, there was a happy ending: the value of billions of dollars of asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) in Canada was preserved and most investors were made whole. “This is the book that tells the […]

Central Clearing Design

If you had to design a central clearinghouse for transactions in financial markets, what size of guarantees should be offered? And what percentage fees should be charged? “The central clearing modifies the market,” said Andreea Minca, “because the old network structure [of one-to-one] is changing to a new ‘star’ structure.” Minca is Assistant Professor at the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering at Cornell University and was the sole presenter at the December 6, 2016, webinar on systemic risk and central clearing design to members of the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). Under new US legislation, all over-the-counter […]

Chill, Sisyphus

I had agreed to say a “couple of words” about the topic at hand.  I was directed into an auditorium where a camera projected my every movement onto a giant screen. A spotlight shone on my frizzled hair and sweat-spotted shirt, and a microphone was thrust into my hand. The other hand, holding the paper with the outline of what I wanted to say, began to tremble… Has this ever happened to you?  Has an apparently small meeting ever turned into something much bigger, attracting the attention of five times the number of people you expected? Fortunately I had been […]