When Considering Risk

We need to be reminded that there is no evidence for human nature changing. Trust is built slowly and lost quickly at the personal as well as corporate level. When considering risk it’s worth bearing in mind historical context and the experiences of those that have proceeded us. Much like reading dead authors the advantage of listening to dead bankers is that their ideas have been tested.

Investment Manager Nigel Thomas reported that Lord Overstone, the revered Victorian banker, when testifying 150 years ago, and after the establishment of the Bank Charter Act of 1844, considered the state of trade can be divided into: “quiescence, improvement, growing confidence, prosperity, excitement, overtrading, convulsion, pressure, stagnation and distress ending again in quiescence.” Economists and politicians are wallowing in stagnation and distress, but many businesses are adapting to change and running their businesses differently. Commerce is dynamic never a stopped clock.


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