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May 31, 2019 | Worthwhile Read: The Fifth Risk

Danielle Park

Portfolio Manager and President of Venable Park Investment Counsel ( Ms Park is a financial analyst, attorney, finance author and regular guest on North American media. She is also the author of the best-selling myth-busting book "Juggling Dynamite: An insider's wisdom on money management, markets and wealth that lasts," and a popular daily financial blog:

I just finished Michael Lewis’s latest book, The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy.

Lewis examines key US government departments like Agriculture, Commerce (which should be called the ministry of data on things like weather and food production), and Energy. He describes the many vital duties these departments are responsible for, and what happened when the Trump administration took over.  Full of his famous character studies,  this material becomes a page-turner.  It also sheds light on the strategy of many in positions of power to not delve in and understand the issues in detail so that they can skirt responsibility and cling to preconceived narratives.  Some insight for those of us trying to comprehend what we are witnessing in many government and big business leaders today.  Here’s a taste:

“Willful ignorance plays a role in these looming disasters. If your ambition is to maximize short-term gains without regard to the long-term cost, you are better off not knowing those costs. If you want to preserve your personal immunity to the hard problems, it’s better never to really understand those problems. There is upside to ignorance, and downside to knowledge. Knowledge makes life messier. It makes it a bit more difficult for a person who wishes to shrink the world to a worldview.”

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May 31st, 2019

Posted In: Juggling Dynamite

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