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Stingy News: Disaster

Creative Destruction?
03/23/11 Disaster
"Modern economies, it turns out, are adept at rebuilding and are often startlingly resilient. The quintessential example comes from Japan itself: in 1995, an earthquake levelled the port city of Kobe, which at the time was a manufacturing hub and the world's sixth-largest trading port. The quake killed sixty-four hundred people, left more than three hundred thousand homeless, and did more than a hundred billion dollars in damage (almost all of it uninsured). There were predictions that it would take years, if not decades, for Japan to recover. Yet twelve months after the disaster trade at the port had already returned almost to normal, and within fifteen months manufacturing was at ninety-eight per cent of where it would have been had the quake never happened."

Seasonal hurricane forecast
06/03/09 Disaster
"The Colorado State team has done a good and honest job at looking at and sharing their own accuracy over time. There is a recent paper published by Klotzbach and Gray sharing the forecast accuracy since 1987."

Hurricane Ike may cost insurers up to $18 Billion
09/13/08 Disaster
"Ike may cause $8 billion to $18 billion in insured losses on land as it moves from coastal Galveston to Houston and further inland, the Oakland, California-based firm said in an e- mailed statement today. Disruption to energy production is 'not expected to be extensive,' the firm said. Flagstone Reinsurance Holdings Ltd., the Bermuda-based insurer, predicted damage of $10 billion to $16 billion industrywide."

Taleb outsells Greenspan
03/30/08 Markets Derivatives Books Disaster
"On a freezing day in March 2007, Nassim Taleb walked into a conference room at Morgan Stanley's Manhattan offices on 47th Street and Broadway to address a group of the firm's risk managers. His message: Your models don't work. Using a whiteboard to scribble out his calculations, Taleb, now 48, began one of his rants, this time against stress tests -- Wall Street lingo for examining how a market rout will play out. Stress tests are inherently risky because they ignore rare but potentially devastating events, Taleb said. 'Past shortfall doesn't predict future shortfall,' the options trader turned best-selling author recalls telling the assembled group of about 40. The risk managers, part of a tribe of mathematical model makers known in the finance world as quants, stared back at him blankly, and a debate ensued, according to people who were there. Only six months later, Morgan Stanley experienced its own rout. The world's second-biggest mergers adviser announced in December that it had written down its subprime-related holdings by $9.4 billion after the firm's traders misjudged how fast and far prices of the debt would fall. Their risk management had failed."

Wall St.'s memorial day
09/11/03 Disaster
"The markets will open and close at the usual times, but activity will be halted at 8:46 a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:59 a.m., and 10:29 a.m. ET for a minute of silence to mark the moments airplanes crashed into each of the World Trade Center's twin towers and the times when the buildings fell. Many market participants in New York will join in the ceremony commemorating the attack at Ground Zero, blocks away from the New York Stock Exchange."

The day the lights went out
08/15/03 Disaster
"President George Bush has ordered an inquiry into a massive power failure affecting up to 60m North Americans. Whatever the immediate cause, an overloaded transmission system and poor regulation may be the real culprits."

What caused the blackouts?
08/15/03 Disaster
"Years of under-investment by power companies have left behind a US electricity grid that is woefully inadequate to meet increased demand."

Power returns to most areas hit by blackout
08/15/03 Disaster
"U.S.-Canadian task force charged with investigating outage"

What's working, what's not in Ontario
08/15/03 Disaster
S.I. is back but we'll probably go down again due to rolling blackouts. Help your neighbors if you can.

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