Cavalcade of Risk #43

January 16th, 2008 by Julie Ferguson

rock climbing
We’re pleased to be hosting this week’s edition of Cavalcade of Risk. Participants have submitted a wide spectrum of analysis, tips, tricks, and tools to help manage risk, both in the public and the personal arenas. It’s a hefty issue, so let’s jump right in.
First, a few brave souls take a look at the landscape. Blogging at the RGE Monitor, Rachel Ziemba reassesses the risk management climate in the financial sector for 2008. Leon of Sox First takes the pulse of some financial experts as to whether the the subprime crisis will drag us into a recession and Ian Welsh of The Agonist offers his thoughts on why we can expect that financial crises will keep happening. With that backdrop, let’s look at what our other participants have had on their minds over the last few weeks.
Our bloggers have thoughts on managing your personal finances in this challenging environment. Jeff Miller of A Dash of Insight suggests that understanding risk and reward means knowing to what extent prices already reflect the risk. Dorian Wales stresses the importance of diversifying your risk in the stock market at Personal Financier.
In a post at The Skilled Investor’s Personal Finance Blog, Larry Russell suggests that Fund Authority Scores are tools that can take the snake oil out of investment. Offering advice from experience, Fire Finance Blog shares their views on 7 mutual fund investing mistakes. Malaysian financial planning blogger Kclau offers a huge roundup of his personal finance articles from 2007. And after the chips fall, the Silicon Valley Blogger opines about why the rich keep getting richer.
Health, health care, and health insurance
Health care is occupying much of the mind share for risk bloggers these days. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) seem to be a hot topic again this week. In a post at Colorado Health Insurance Insider, Louise notes that there is not a lot of opportunity for comparison shopping yet. And sparks fly at Managed Care Matters when Joe Paduda describes HSAs as thinly-disguised tax breaks for the well-to-do. In other financing mechanisms, Jonathan Pletzke of Consumer’s Health Insurance Blog looks at the matter of health insurance for the self-employed, while Joe Kristan of Tax Update Blog considers the tax implications of S corporation owner-employee health insurance.
Also in the health care arena, Zagreus Ammon discusses the risk that retail clinics pose to the public hospital system (part 2) at his blog The Physician Executive. Of course, with a presidential campaign in the offing, the health care landscape could change in other ways, as well. Jason Shafrin of Healthcare Economist looks at the health care reform positions for both Reuplican and Democratic presidential candidates. And Bob Laszewski of Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review, who has had an ongoing series examining candidates’ positions, this week offers an in-depth analysis of Senator Hillary Clinton’s Health Care proposal.
When it comes to managing health risks, we often talk about risk in terms of our own behaviors, but what about the behaviors of those who treat us? InsureBlog’s Bob Vineyard has a thoughtful (and disturbing) item on questions we should be asking to minimize our own risk of a bad outcome. David Williams of Health Business Blog demonstrates the importance of due diligence with some chilling examples of how medical quality can take a wrong turn. And on the issue of health care quality run amuck, here at Workers Comp Insider, my colleague Jon Coppelman presents another example in the story of Dr. Chan, a neurosurgeon who amassed a small fortune taking kickbacks for surgical implants.
On the matter of managing our own personal health risk, bloggers offer some news. On the matter of cardiovascular disease, Barbara Duck, hostess of the Medical Quack Blog, tells us that strawberries might lower the risk and Dick Hanneman, president of the Salt Institute informs us that salt is not necessarily as bad for us as we’ve been led to believe. But not all news is good. According Mahdi Ebrahimi of Organic Agriculture, cooking certain foods at high temperatures may increase the risk for breast cancer.
Other risk matters
Over at CNET’s NewsBlog, Chris Soghoian reports on a major irony: the TSA’s own website may be putting travelers at increased risk of ID theft. Data integrity is an increasingly important issue for consumers. At the Security and Risk Management Blog, Jen Mulligan has some disturbing news about data privacy. Some recent news from England serves as a springboard for some great tips on reducing your own risk of ID theft.
Tired of working for “the man” and thinking of striking out on your own? Conventional wisdom holds that 80% of all small businesses will fail within the first 5 years of operation. Matthew Paulson of American Consumer News looks at common mistakes in his post entitled How to Start a Small Business and Fail Miserably At It. But if your endeavor requires negotiating a contract, you might learn something from the sports world. James Mirtle looks at the risks involved in high-dollar professional sports contracts. And if worse comes to worst, Karen Halls offers advice on how to recover at Bankruptcy Lawyer’s Blog.