Tuesday, January 26

Novel applications of risk assessment

Since the global financial crisis struck, people have been paying much more attention to risk in the financial sector. It may sound dry, but risk assessment can actually be fun when applied to non-financial stuff. Here are two examples I came across recently:

1. Daredevil Travis Pastrana, who does crazy bike and skydiving stunts, recently told ESPN The Magazine  that his secret to not dieing is conducting a solid risk assessment. "People often say, 'You must be crazy,' he told ESPN. "But I say, 'No, I'm good at calculating risk." He's still alive, so he must indeed be good. Maybe the big banks should hire him.

2. Standard Life, a multinational financial services firm, has launched a couple ads in Canada that star two boring suit-types who calculate risks. The Godzilla-on-a-beach ad is a bit over the top for me, but I love this ad where they assess the risks of crossing the street. It probably appears really geeky to the ordinary person, but when you hang out with economists all the time these are the kind of conversations you sometimes find yourself having.