Systemic risk | deepening our understanding

In 2012, Thinking Ahead published a paper with the title The wrong type of snow. It was a paper about risk, one of the most studied and written about subjects in our investment world. 

In our opinion the paper has aged well, and is still a good read. But we now feel we have something new to say about risk. As we have continued to learn about, and think about, systems we have increasingly come to see current risk management practice within the investment industry as not paying enough attention to the bigger picture, and the more distant future. 

In this paper, we have attempted to show the power of models to shape our thinking and therefore our actions. We have suggested that reality is best modelled as a System and, more practically, as a set of inter-related sub-systems. This raises the prominence of systemic risk and underlines the importance of thinking of risk as intertemporal. Which means that risk management must be a continual, through-time process.