Risquer davantage sa peau en 2013

NEW YORK – Le jour où j’ai reçu, à un moment difficile, un mot d’encouragement de la part d’un pompier a été pour moi un temps fort de 2012. Il m’expliquait qu’il trouvait mes idées sur le risque de perte extrême très faciles à comprendre. Sa question était : comment se faisait-il que les gourous de la gestion du risque, les universitaires et les spécialistes de la modélisation financière ne les comprennent pas ?

Eh bien, la réponse était là, évidente, dans son message même. Mon correspondant est pompier et ne peut donc pas se permettre de méjuger le risque. Il serait la première victime de toute erreur d’appréciation. En d’autres termes, il risque sa peau. Et en plus, il est digne de respect parce qu’il risque sa vie sans contrepartie.

Le concept de « risquer sa peau » est vital pour le fonctionnement adéquat d’un monde complexe. Hélas, dans un système opaque, les acteurs sont incités à dissimuler les risques, profitant des mouvements de hausse sans être pénalisé par la baisse. Et il n’existe pas de méthode de gestion du risque qui puisse remplacer le fait de risquer sa peau – en particulier lorsque l’opacité des informations est aggravée par une asymétrie d’information, en sus de ce que les économiques qualifient de problème du principal agent.

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