Tuesday 23 January 2018

If you want to bet the farm, fine. Just don't use taxpayers' money

Former Anglo executive John Bowe was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud this week. Photo: Courtpix
Former Anglo executive John Bowe was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud this week. Photo: Courtpix
Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin

Now and again, most of us chance a roll of the dice. Some of us do it metaphorically, others head for the bookies. But people with any sense take a punt only when they know failure - whether it involves a lost opportunity or a loss of face - will not mean catastrophe.

That kind of risk-taking is a calculated risk. Risk can never be eliminated, but it can be monitored and exposure to it controlled. So understanding the nature of risk, and the level of one's risk appetite, is a useful skill. Enormous importance is attached to it in business and finance.

Risk crops up in two news stories this week: in the conviction of two former Anglo Irish Bank executives, found guilty over a €7.2bn conspiracy to defraud, and in reports of a suspected fraud under investigation by gardaí and the Central Bank in a north county Dublin Credit Union, where €700,000 is missing.

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