Today's top financial-risk professionals have come to rely on ever-more sophisticated mathematics in their attempts to come to grips with financial risk. But this excessive reliance on quantitative precision is misleading--and it puts us all at risk. This is the case that Riccardo Rebonato makes in Plight of the Fortune Tellers--and coming from someone who is both an experienced market professional and an academic, this heresy is worth listening to.
Rebonato forcefully argues that we must restore genuine decision making to our financial planning, and he shows us how to do it using probability, experimental psychology, and decision theory. This is the only way to effectively manage financial risk in a manner congruent with how human beings actually react to chance. Rebonato challenges us to rethink the standard wisdom about probability in financial-risk management. Risk managers have become obsessed with measuring risk and believe that these quantitative results by themselves can guide sound financial choices--but they can't. In this book, Rebonato offers a radical yet surprisingly commonsense solution, one that seeks to remind us that managing risk comes down to real people making decisions under uncertainty.
Plight of the Fortune Tellers is not only a book for the decision makers of Wall Street, it's a must-read for anyone concerned about how today's financial markets are run. The stakes have never been higher--can you risk it?
"[Plight of the Fortune Tellers] was written to appeal to a wide audience. Stylistically, Rebonato is an engaging writer who uses analogies and interesting examples...I'm confident you'll enjoy this book and that, after reading it, you will join in the dialog that Rebonato has started."--Garp Risk Review
"In his new book, Plight of the Fortune Tellers, Rebonato shows... why Merrill Lynch and Citigroup shareholders are right to be concerned. Nowhere have I read a better account of how a conscientious, intellectually disciplined market risk manager approaches his work in today's complex world. Well known to Risk readers as a master of interest rate modeling, Rebonato has written an accessible, non-technical book."--Nicholas Dunbar, Risk
"In Plight of the Fortune Tellers, Rebonato analyzes and offers solutions to problems related to quantitative risk management strategies and the value-at-risk (VAR) methodology currently used by financial managers. Through stories, examples, theory, and practical methods, he first provides a critical review of the current state of affairs in investment risk management. Then, he proposes how we should 'revisit our ideas about probability in financial risk management' and 'put decision making back at center stage.' In Plight of the Fortune Tellers contains valuable insights into the development of VAR methodology and problems associated with its use in the present financial management arena. . . . In Plight of the Fortune Tellers is a book recommended for practitioners currently involved in quantitative methods and for students of investments and risk management at the graduate school level."--James Jackson, CFA Digest
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: Why This Book Matters 1
Chapter 2: Thinking about Risk 22
Chapter 3: Thinking about Probabilities 40
Chapter 4: Making Choices 67
Chapter 5: What Is Risk Management For? 107
Chapter 6: VaR & Co: How It All Started 117
Chapter 7: Looking Beneath the Surface: Hidden Problems 139
Chapter 8: Which Type of Probability Matters in Risk Management? 182
Chapter 9: The Promise of Economic Capital 199
Chapter 10: What CanWe Do Instead? 223
This book has been translated into:
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Riccardo Rebonato: