A Foolproofer’s Handbook: How to Make the Most of Our Best Instincts. Foolproof by Greg Ip
TESI: NON SOPRAVVALUTIAMO LE VITE, NON SOTTOVALUTIAMO LA LIBERTÀ.
IN FONDO UNA VITA E’ CIO’ CHE CONTIENE.
In the face of this irony, what should we do? Can we truly foolproof our surroundings if we so often cause more mischief in doing so? Or should we be ecologists and allow natural systems to take their course? At the end of this journey, I concluded that the answer is neither: we must reconcile the engineers with the ecologists. But how?
Note: DI FRONTE AL RISCHIO: PRECAUZIONI O LET IT BE? MEDIARE Edit
IN LODE DELL’AZZARDO.
By providing confidence, moral hazard enables society to do things and take risks that it otherwise wouldn’t, many of which make us better off.
Note: LARRY SUMMERS: PRENDERE RISCHI CI DÀ QUELLA CONFIDENZA SENZA LA QUALE L’IMPRESA UMANA È IMPOSSIBILE Edit
safety is a state of mind, not a statute. You can write laws that tell people their bank can fail, their money market fund may not pay back a dollar per share, their home is not insured if a nearby levee fails, or their uncooked food might carry dangerous pathogens. Yet this won’t change their behavior if their experience tells them that banks never fail, money market funds always pay back a dollar, the levee always holds, and uncooked food never makes them sick.
Note: SICUREZZA STATO MENTALE. CONTA TROPPO LA PSICOLOGIA Edit
expunging moral hazard would also expunge confidence and all the beneficial risk taking that confidence enables.
Note: FIDUCIA E AZZARDO MORALE. DUE FACCE DRLLA STESSA MEDAGLIA Edit
Of course, we cannot endure a crisis and recession that cost the United States from $6 trillion to $14 trillion and do nothing. The question is, what can we do that won’t make matters worse?
Note: SIA LA SICUREZZA CHE IL RISCHIO HANNO UNA LORO FUNZIONE SOCIALE . CHE FARE PER SCEGLIERE LE DOSI CORRETTE? Edit
Summers is an engineer: he is a vocal advocate of using the macroeconomic levers of government to control inflation and raise employment,
Note: SUMMERS RESTA UN INGEGNERE: PROGETTARE LE PROTEZIONI Edit
Minsky’s aphorism that “stability is destabilizing.”
MINSKY INVECE E’ IL CLASSICO ECOLOGISTA. ECCO IL SUO MOTTO.
“The jet makes things better, it connects things in better ways, but the crashes are more dramatic. If you never invented the jumbo jet, you could never have a crash that killed more than two hundred people.
Note: IL CASO DEL JUMBO JET Edit
IL PREZZO DI UNA VITA UMANA
Though it seems repugnant to put a price on human life, it happens all the time, when juries award damages for negligence resulting in death,
Note: PREZZARE LA VITA UMANA. TI RIPUGNA? MA LO FAI TUTTI I GIORNI, ANCHE CON I TUOI FIGLI.Edit
Federal agencies, for example, typically put the value of a statistical life at $9 million. Would you pay $9 million to save your own life (assuming you had $9 million)? Of course you would. Now let me ask the question slightly differently: would you pay $9 to reduce the chance of death by one in one million? Quite possibly not.
Note: 9 MILIONI DI DOLLARI BASTANO, NON SOPRAVVALUTIAMO LA VITA UMANA Edit
Bioethicists refer to the “rule of rescue,” the urge to help those we see are in distress, even when the help might better be devoted to serving a larger, less visible population. The rule of rescue can lead to very bad decisions.
Note: FUORI DI IPOCRISIA: A NOI NON INTERESSA LA VITA UMANA. INTERESSA LA VITA UMANA CHE VEDIAMO E TOCCHIAMO.
There is another cost that foolproofers must consider when trying to make us safer: our loss of freedom.
Note: C’È UN ALTRO COSTO TRASCURATO: IL COSTO DELLA LIBERTÀ Edit
We really can limit danger and risk if we are willing to use rules, prohibitions, and jail time. This is one way around the Peltzman effect. If we worry that making an activity safer encourages more risk, ban the activity altogether.
Note: PROIBIZIONISMO È LA MEDICINA PIÙ EFFICACE PER AVERE SICUREZZA Edit
Opponents of seat-belt laws often base their arguments on freedom, not health. Despite overwhelming evidence that they reduce deaths and injuries, mandatory motorcycle helmet laws have been repealed in many states, often in response to litigation branding such laws an infringement on motorcyclists’ liberty and an unconstitutional exercise of police power.
Note: SEGGIOLINI E CASCHI: CHI SI OPPONE LL FA IN NOME DELLA LIBERTÀ
QUANDO LO SPAZIO SALVA.
SPAZIO = SPAZIO DI MANOVRA.
SPAZIO DI MANOVRA = DIVERSITA’, ALTERNATIVE APERTE.
As I explored our efforts to create safety, I discovered one remedy that seems to work everywhere: space.
Note: IL RIMEDIO: TENIAMO LE DISTANZE Edit
For example, when I asked Adrian Lund of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety why aviation has had more success reducing accidents than automobiles have, his answer surprised me: “In aviation … it’s an easier problem to deal with.
Note: SULLA STRADA LA COSA È EVIDENTE: PERICOLO INTERAZIONI. DA UN EQUIVOCO IL DISASTRO (IN ASSENZA DI VIE DI FUGA) Edit
My wife is a stickler for space. Early in her driving career, she learned that keeping space around your car is one of the easiest ways to avoid a collision.
Note: TENERE LE DISTANZE DAGLI ALTRI, IL GRANDE PRESERVATIVO Edit
Jadwin recommended the creation of a series of floodways — normally habitable land that would be allowed to flood to relieve pressure on the river…. By deliberately flooding less populated farmland, the Jadwin plan would protect the cities and more populated centers along the river….
Note: SPAZI DI SICUREZZA. ANCHE NEI DISASTRI NATURALI LO SPAZIO SALVA Edit
The financial and economic worlds have their equivalent of space: it’s called capital. This is essentially the cushion of shareholder capital that is available to absorb losses.
Note: L ‘EQUIVALENTE DELLO SPAZIO NEL MONDO DELLA FINANZA: LA CAPITALIZZAZIONE Edit
Capital has, correctly, become the central tool in regulators’ drive to reinforce the financial system against another crisis.
Note: PRIVILEGIARE IL CAPITALE DI RISCHIO SUL CREDITO.Edit
ALTRO PRESERVATIVO: PUNTARE SULLA MEMORIA.
That leads us to the final lesson of how to foolproof ourselves. As we have seen throughout this book, we often seek safety in response to fear, and fear is rooted in experience. The experience of crisis or disaster makes survivors more conscientious and risk averse. Houses built immediately after a hurricane are less likely to suffer damage in the next one….
Note: VALORIZZARE L’ ESPERIENZA Edit
Moreover, experience is of limited help when disasters are rare. “One can be a particularly poor driver and never become involved in an auto accident,” note Donald MacGregor and Paul Slovic.
Note: MEMORIA: UNICA ARMA CONTRO LA RARITÀ DEI DISASTRI Edit
A country can change its attitude toward risk just as a company can. Canada drew praise in the wake of the global financial crisis for the fact that none of its banks failed or needed bailouts; indeed, they emerged stronger than they had been, an important reason Canada’s recession was much milder than that of the United States. This is often attributed to culture: the stereotype is that Canadians are more risk averse, less swashbuckling than Americans. There’s some truth to this.
Note: UN ESEMPIO: LA CRISI FINANZIARIA IN CANADA Edit
Yet the different experiences during the crisis are not all due to culture. Canadians are as susceptible to bubbles, fraudsters, and charlatans as Americans. Two small Canadian banks collapsed during the 1980s, and a crippling real estate depression laid many banks low in the early 1990s. Importantly, this left an imprint on both bankers and regulators… The Canadian government absorbed the lessons of the 1980s and 1990s as well. It created an independent regulator that steadily pushed banks to raise their capital sooner than its foreign competitors did…
Note: DISASTRI PRECEDENTI E MAI DIMENTICATI Edit
The right tradeoff between risk and stability will maximize the units of innovation we get per unit of instability. It has taken us a century to learn that trying to put out every fire is a recipe for bigger, deadlier fires. The solution is not to let all fires burn, but to make it possible for small fires to burn without hurting people so that we save our resources for the big fires.
Note: E TORNIAMO AL PRINCIPIO GENERALE: EQUILIBRIO TRA DUE FUOCHI Edit