What is Systemic Risk?

Systemic risk is risk to the “system” in some way. In the financial services world, it is often defined in one of two ways: The risk of contagion, where failure of an entity leads to distress or failures of others [micro prudential] The risk of an event that can trigger serious consequences for the real economy. …

Board game recommendations (and reasons to use them)

I’ve played plenty of board games in my life. I’m not (only) talking about Monopoly. I went to Cambridge (to visit, very sadly, not to study) in 2003. I found an awesome board game store and tried to buy Diplomacy.  The incredibly wise assistant basically forced me to buy Settlers of Catan before he would …

Modelling one side of a two-sided problem

Ah models, my old friends. You’re always wrong, but sometimes helpful. Often dangerous too. A recent article in The Actuary magazine addressed whether “de-risking in members’ best interests?”  I say “recent” even though it’s from August because I am a little behind on my The Actuary reading. In the article, the authors demonstrate that by …

Claims analysis, inflation and discounting (part 2)

This is part 2 of a 3 part series. Part 1 is here. Non-life claims reserves are regularly not discounted, for bad reasons and good. This part of the series looks at the related issue of inflation in claims reserving. (You’ll have to wait for part 3 for me to talk about the analysis that …

Life in our time of cholera?

I love to read, so I’m not proud to admit right upfront that everything I know about “Love in the time of cholera” I learnt in 3 minutes from wikipedia starting about 3 minutes ago. Seems like a book I should read. But another than playing on the well known book and movie title, this …

The worst insurance policy in the world

Aviva in France is still dealing with having written the worst insurance policy in the world. From the sounds of things, they weren’t alone in this foible. It’s also hard to say as an outsider what the right or reasonable resolution to their current problem is, but here is the policy that they wrote. Buy …