Risk Savvy: How To Make Good Decisions

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“In 1988 a first international regulation was crafted to regulate the capital a bank needs so that it is unlikely to default, known as the Basel Accord (Basel I). This agreement was 30 pages long and the calculations could be done with paper and pen. It was revised in 2004 to something more magnificent, Basel II. With a great deal of added detail and new complex risk models, Basel II was 347 pages long. A few years after the creation of this masterpiece tailored to make the world safe, the financial crisis of 2008 broke out. The reaction was to weave an even more complex regulation, Basel III, which came to 616 pages. Whereas Basel I was translated into 18 pages of primary legislation in the United States, Basel III required more than 1,000 pages. I have asked central bank regulators: who understands the consequences of Basel III? The unanimous answer was “probably not a soul”.”

Gerd Gigerenzer, Risk Savvy: How To Make Good Decisions

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