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Sunday, February 14, 2010

RISK AND REALITY: Part 2: Updating our prediction, One Year Later --After The Fall Of Lehman Brothers

Risk and Reality with Dr. Franco Oboni
Riskope Risk and Crisis Management Blog:

Prologue from Part 1:

In Part 1 of this series, we spoke about our having forecasted the effect on the financial services and capital markets sectors (i.e., the probability of a market collapse and the magnitude of loss caused by the meltdown of a major financial institution [in this case, Lehman Brothers, which went down in flames on the 14th - 15th of September 2008]), and we described the resistance on the part of so many businesspeople and professionals to take our prediction and the forecast model upon which it was based seriously. We discussed the reasons for this hesitancy  in terms of behavioral psychology; many individuals simply assumed that the meltdown was a one-time catastrophe, or that no multivariate predictive model could possibly be sufficiently encompassing and sophisticated enough to yield any outcomes worthy of serious attention and taking preventive or remedial measures.

One common reason for resistance on the part of so many was because of a negative prior experience with poorly-design models, or forecasts which were rigged (i.e., biased) to yield a certain desired result in support of someone's private agenda. A forecasting model which is inherently designed to generate a preconceived outcome is not a valid forecasting tool -- it is merely an instrument of propaganda. These tainted models, studies and surveys have made it difficult for any legitimate, objective risk analyst to get proper attention, often with tragic results. 

To Today's Discussion - The Results of the Forecast:  

The prediction, as we had published it over one year ago, is condensed and outlined  as follows:

1) Duration Forecast:

80% chance the crisis will be shorter than 3 years (ending by Fall, 2011).
30% chance the crisis will be shorter than 1.5 years (ending by Spring, 2010),
10% chance the crisis will be longer than 6 years (ending after Fall, 2014)

NB: From the data above it can be inferred that the probability of the crisis lasting between 1.5years (Spring 2010) to 3 years (Fall 2011) is 80%-30%=50%

2) Magnitude Forecast:

20% chance the present situation will persist (The Blues; see the Measurements Section of the published forecast).
25% chance there will be a significant worsening (Getting to Generalized Poverty; see the Measurements Section of the published forecast).
55% chance we will reach a critical level of disservice (Severe Impoverishment and Catastrophic Disruption, see the Measurements Section of the published forecast).

Those were the possibilities (expressed as percentages) of each possible category of outcome, in terms of the length and severity of the recession.

--Franco Oboni
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