In the financial industry, risk is everything. Whether it be market risk, operational risk, representational risk, or credit risk, actors in financial markets base their decisions on measures of risk: calculations of potential losses and future events. Most risk today can be quantified to some degree – numerical indicators such as Value at Risk (VaR) allow financial analysts to simplify predictions and parse out precise degrees of probability. On the basis of these calculations, trades are made, companies are bought and sold, stocks are valued. Risk both defines and creates the market.
Quantifying Risk: Security and Certainty in the Financial Industry
Stephanie Russell-Kraft is a graduate student at the Institute for European Ethnology at Humboldt University in Berlin. She completed her B.A. in Comparative Literature and Society, magna cum laude, at Columbia University.
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Richard Florida examines the new geography of finance within the United States. What about the role of finance in the geography of cities?
When I arrived in New York at the end of August to begin my field research on graduate programs in quantitative finance, I was struck by the overall level noise of the city. I knew that New York was loud – I had lived there for six years – but I had just how many individual sounds contribute to the the white noise of the city's streets.