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From risks to second-order dangers in financial markets: unintended consequences of risk management systems

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The notion of risk is central to modern society, both as a productive and as a troublesome concept. On the one hand, risk refers to a situation of opportunity. Only those who undertake a risk, bear the uncertainties and face the potential adverse consequences, may gain the rewards. On the other hand, risk refers to fundamental uncertainty: at the time of risk-taking one cannot know for sure whether the opportunity concerned will be realised; in the worst case, the costs incurred might be greater than any benefit. Risk therefore increases the scope for both rational and seemingly irrational decisions: without the willingness to undertake a risk some opportunities may never be realised; the costs of an unsuccessful risky decision, however, may be intolerably high and may thus disqualify the whole enterprise in hindsight

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en

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application/pdf

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/36101/1/Disspaper29.pdf

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