The financial world seems to have a fascination with zoomorphism – the attribution of animal names, emotions, or intentions to non- animal occurrences like market shocks. Black Swans are the famous one, but there’s also been White Moose and Gray Rhino added to the lexicon.
And in this episode of The Derivative, we’re focusing on the Gray Rhino risk metaphor created by author of The Gray Rhino – Michele Wucker. A Gray Rhino is a clear and present danger in business, life, and the world that gets short shrift despite—indeed, often because of—its size and obviousness.
Look at recent headlines full of companies that ignored gray rhinos: auto companies that forgot how crucial safety is to their reputation and bottom line; to the financial institutions where warnings went unheeded; and to the many firms whose networks were hacked and reputations damaged because they didn’t pay enough attention to cyber security. Consider the decisions we all make daily, putting off what we know is important to do, and paying the consequences. (Wucker.com)
Listen to the snippet below as we discuss with Michele some more recent gray rhino events and the risk analysis behind them:
Find the full episode links of The Derivative below:
Bio: Michele Wucker coined the term “gray rhino” to draw attention to the obvious risks that are neglected despite – indeed, often because of- their size and likelihood. The metaphor has moved markets, shaped financial policies, and made headlines around the world. Michele’s 2019 TED Talk has attracted more than two million views. She is the author of three books including the international bestseller THE GRAY RHINO: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore (St Martin’s Press, 2016). which China’s leadership has used to frame and communicate its crackdown on financial risk. Drawing on three decades of experience in financial media and think tank management, turnarounds, and economic policy analysis, Michele is founder of the Chicago-based strategy firm Gray Rhino & Company. She has been honored as a 2009 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow.
Her previous positions include Vice President for Studies at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; President of the World Policy Institute; and Latin America Bureau Chief at International Financing Review. Her writing has appeared in publications around the world including CNN.com, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She has been interviewed by many media including National Public Radio, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and Fox News.
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