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This book is at a popular level, i.e., not a book on how to calculate risk. But it does a tremendous job walking through the basics and the thinking, spiced with plenty of history vignettes. This spans macro financial risk, products, insurance, all sorts of topics. The author seems to wander from one to another of these, but I don't mind. We can see how a smart strategy, at first, can become futile as more and more people, so to speak, crowd into the trade, and change the profile of risk involved. E.g.,m as explained here, "portfolio insurance" and credit default swaps worked great until enough players crowded in, and suddenly they didn't work anymore. Behavior changes when people feel too comfortable or safe -- which is to say, they fail to monitor the changing environment, and therefore misprice their risks. I find this area fascinating -- two other books to check out along these lines (in print) are 'The Crisis of Crowding' by Ludwig B. Chincarini (on finance), and 'When All Else Fails: Government as the Ultimate Risk Manager' by David A. Moss.
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the beginning of the book is devoted to affixing blame to global warming for modern day forest fires
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