Today’s Financial Times features an article by Alan Greenspan on risk models. A quote:
“The crisis will leave many casualties. Particularly hard hit will be much of today’s financial risk-valuation system, significant parts of which failed under stress. Those of us who look to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder equity have to be in a state of shocked disbelief. But I hope that one of the casualties will not be reliance on counterparty surveillance, and more generally financial self-regulation, as the fundamental balance mechanism for global finance.” […]
“We will never be able to anticipate all discontinuities in financial markets. Discontinuities are, of necessity, a surprise. Anticipated events are arbitraged away. But if, as I strongly suspect, periods of euphoria are very difficult to suppress as they build, they will not collapse until the speculative fever breaks on its own. Paradoxically, to the extent risk management succeeds in identifying such episodes, it can prolong and enlarge the period of euphoria. But risk management can never reach perfection. It will eventually fail and a disturbing reality will be laid bare, prompting an unexpected and sharp discontinuous response.”
Fairly obvious stuff, we live in non-linear world, and markets are not efficient, hence herding, fads, etc. produce bubbles which burst, and no-one can predict when will it happen. I would welcome much more an article written by Maestro titled: “From Greenspan put to housing market kaput”.