Cavalcade of Risk #60

September 10th, 2008 by Julie Ferguson

Life is full of risk. Even the seemingly innocuous pursuit of blogging is not without its risks. The other day, I found out that some unscrupulous blogger is reposting much of our content under their own name. We are not alone. Stealing blog content is getting to be a big business. After her own run-in with this phenomenon, Janice Harayda of One-Minute Book Reviews has the lowdown on splogs (read: spam+blogs) and what to do to combat them.
Turning to happier thoughts, Jason Shafrin, our favorite Healthcare Economist, reminds us that the NFL season begins this week. In celebration, he offers several football-related links, including one on how increasing uncertainty has helped an undermanned high school football team win games. That seasonal note seemed like a good way to kick off our new fall chapter of Cavalcade of Risk.
Risk & health matters
As the election heats up, healthcare reform remains a hot topic. Bob Vineyard of InsureBlog has some tough questions he’d like to pose to the candidates, starting with how they plan to control runaway costs. And Joe Paduda of Managed Care Matters has been doing some digging on where Gov. Sarah Palin stands on health care.
Meanwhile, Louise at Colorado Health Insurance Insider is concerned that health care reform is losing ground. She notes that while sweeping reform that would grant access to the millions of uninsured Americans would be ideal, she would settle for progress in that direction. Maggie Mahar of Health Beat points our that even having insurance is no guarantee of access to care.
In other health-related risk matters, David Williams of Health Business Blog comments on medical loss ratio regulation, a concept that California is toying with. David notes that instead of constraining health insurance premiums and expanding affordability, such a move might have the opposite effect.
Business of Risk
Inflation, stagnation, recession? A rose by any other name … Nancy Germond of Risk Management for the 21st Century notes that a slowing economy can impact an organization’s risk profile. She offers good advice for managing risk in economic downturns.
Some other bloggers have good tips for manging various aspects of business risk. Over at Securitas Operandi, Peter Gregory reports on one way to trim IT security costs is for companies to change how they spend their money. The folks at Procurement Insights take on the hidden risks in supply chains.
Leon Gettler of Sox First looks at how various industries are bracing for the impact of Hurricane Gustav. While much attention is paid to the potential effects on the petroleum industry, everything from tourism to Tabasco sauce is likely to be affected.
Not much one can do about an act of God, but things are more frustrating when the business risk comes from the lawmakers. Here at Workers Comp Insider, my colleague Jon Coppelman posts about how legislators are punishing profitable insurance carriers.
The housing and banking crisis
If you are even barely sentient, you know by now that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae aren’t the latest Hollywood “it” couple: they’re two of the backbones of the mortgage market. Professor Richard K. Green of Richard’s Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog has some insights on how they’re also major risk transfer mechanisms, too.
Ever seen a desperate bank? Mike Shedlock of Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis blog thinks Washington Mutual (WaMu) is showing signs of trouble, as evidenced by latest offering. And offering a new spin on laughing all the way to the bank, Jim of Blueprint for Financial Prosperity presents us with Fifty Fun Facts About Bank Failures.
If the banking scene has you unnerved, tells us that there is some safety in NCUSIF-backed credit unions, where no credit union members have ever lost money on insured deposits.
Personal Finance
As part of his ongoing series on the “7 deadly sins of personal finance”, Jim of Blueprint for Financial Prosperity discusses the importance of adequate insurance as a hedge against unknown events that could possibly bankrupt you.
And if you see your way clear of debts, purchase that insurance, and still have a few coins to put aside for your golden years, you are faced with the conundrum of deciding which of the multitude of financial products will offer the best returns. Matt of American Consumer News looks at ISAs vs Fixed Rate Bonds, offering suggestions for determining which is best suited for you. And Silicon Valley Blogger at The Digerati Life says that if you trade stocks, it’s important to be aware of your risks. He offers 5 hot tips for first time investors. Dorian Wales at The Personal Financier reminds us that the trend isn’t always your friend – improbable scenarios sometime present rare investment opportunities.