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Finance and Philosophy: Why We’re Always Surprised

Finance and Philosophy provides a concise and witty account of how bankers and financial regulators think, of the alleged causes of the cycles of booms and busts, of the implicit and often un-thought-out assumptions shaping retirement finance, fiat money, corporate governance. Pollock deftly shows how poorly bankers have measured the risk their banks have been exposed to. With candor and clarity, he uncovers the persistent and unavoidable uncertainty inherent in the business of banking. We learn that a banker’s confidence in his ability to measure banking risk accurately is the lure which has repeatedly led to bank failures. Pollock has a modest and compelling suggestion: Acknowledge the unavoidability of ignorance with respect to financial risk, and, in the light of this ignorance of the future, act moderately. "Pollock tells us all we need to know about money and banking, risk and uncertainty, debt and temptation, and science and economics. He delights as he instructs.” - James Grant, founder and editor, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer

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7/31/2020

Re-Designing the Marine Corps for Future War: Necessity or Madness?

General David H. Berger, Marine Corps Commandant, is aggressively pushing a dramatic redesign of the Corps for future war incorporating new missiles, advanced sensors, unmanned platforms, and hypervelocity weapons. HisForce Design 2030effort has drawn enthusiastic support from those who agree that the Corps must change to remain relevant on a more lethal battlefield. But it has generated an equally fervent amount of criticism from others who think the effort is overly focused on China—rendering the Corps irrelevant across a range of other potentially more likely scenarios. To achieve its vision, the Corps is doing away with tanks, reducing conventional artillery, shrinking units, and placing new demands on the Navy, already struggling to modernize its fleet. But it is adding anti-ship missiles, doubling-down on unmanned systems, and reenergizing a profound discussion about the importance of naval power.Will a redesigned Corps make it irrelevant for land operations against conventional militaries of larger state powers or irregular forces like terrorist groups? Or are General Berger’s designs essential to America’s future ability to conduct nearly any military operation in any theater against a host of potential enemies?Join us for an in-depth conversation about all of this with nationally recognized experts who hold informed opinions on both sides of this issue: Dr. Frank G. Hoffman, Lt. Col. USMCR (Ret.), Distinguished Research Fellow at the National Defense University, and Mark F. Cancian, Colonel, USMCR (Ret.), Senior Advisor, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies.