The Game of RISK. Photo by Phil Peck
Sometimes I miss school. Closest I get here are invites to these press events, which basically function as classes with booze. I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who’s not there for the food, cause I’ll be damned if I don’t like the things. Sometimes they suck, but occassionally you get very smart people coming through. Today I went to a lunch seminar with this Oracle director about BASEL II Banking Reforms. Initially I didn’t even understand the title, but Dr. Chris Marshall is smart as hell and I actually learned something. From a policy perspective the reforms are actually quite controversial. They have the hidden agenda of promoting bank consolidation, which means eating up smaller banks. For a country of 20 million, Sri Lanka has like 23 Banks which is, shall we say, overstaffed like an Indian Airport. This mysterious BASEL is a cruel mistress of Risk Management, favoring the strong banks and culling the weak from the herd. This means that big, wealthy (and efficient) banks win and consolidate and optimize the banking sector. It could also piss people off, which was the story I was looking for.
I’ve always thought of corporations as organisms, so I wrote a post in that context, ostensibly for the magazine. Rebranding that to iTimes, btw, cause IT Times makes me cringe. The full article is on that website, titled,
It basically characterises Basel II as an artificial way for banks to perceive and express risk, and as a rudimentary step towards building the nervous system of actual AI. Which is a little spacy, yeah.