How ‘black swans’ and ‘perfect storms’ become lame excuses for bad risk management


The terms ‘black swan’ and ‘perfect storm’ have become part of public vocabulary for describing disasters ranging from the 2008 meltdown in the financial sector to the terrorist attacks of September 11. But according to Elisabeth Paté-Cornell, a Stanford professor of management science and engineering, people in government and industry are using these terms too liberally in the aftermath of a disaster as an excuse for poor planning.

See How ‘black swans’ and ‘perfect storms’ become lame excuses for bad risk management: Stanford risk expert recommends engineering principles to assess catastrophic risk. by Kelly Servick, a science-writing intern at the Stanford University School of Engineering.

 

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