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Int. J. Financial Stud. 2017, 5(4), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijfs5040031

Risk Culture during the Last 2000 Years—From an Aleatory Society to the Illusion of Risk Control

1
DZ BANK AG, F/TM, Frankfurt 60265, Germany
2
House of Finance, Goethe University, Frankfurt 60323, Germany
Academic Editor: Nicholas Apergis
Received: 7 October 2017 / Revised: 8 November 2017 / Accepted: 12 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Finance, Financial Risk Management and their Applications)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [301 KB, uploaded 1 December 2017]   |  

Abstract

The culture of risk is 2000 years old, although the term “risk” developed much later. The culture of merchants making decisions under uncertainty and taking the individual responsibility for the uncertain future started with the Roman “Aleatory Society”, continued with medieval sea merchants, who made business “ad risicum et fortunam”, and sustained to the culture of entrepreneurs in times of industrialisation and dynamic economic changes in the 18th and 19th century. For all long-term commercial relationships, the culture of honourable merchants with personal decision-making and individual responsibility worked well. The successful development of sciences, statistics and engineering within the last 100 years led to the conjecture that men can “construct” an economical system with a pre-defined “clockwork” behaviour. Since probability distributions could be calculated ex-post, an illusion to control risk ex-ante became a pattern in business and banking. Based on the recent experiences with the financial crisis, a “risk culture” should understand that human “Strength of Knowledge” is limited and the “unknown unknown” can materialise. As all decisions and all commercial agreements are made under uncertainty, the culture of honourable merchants is key to achieve trust in long-term economic relations with individual responsibility, flexibility to adapt and resilience against the unknown. View Full-Text
Keywords: risk culture; aleartory society; honourable merchant; individual responsibility; disequilibrium; illusion of control risk culture; aleartory society; honourable merchant; individual responsibility; disequilibrium; illusion of control
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Milkau, U. Risk Culture during the Last 2000 Years—From an Aleatory Society to the Illusion of Risk Control. Int. J. Financial Stud. 2017, 5, 31.

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