Advanced Topics in Liberty

Liberty, Risk, and Responsibility

Conference for Professionals - March 9-11, 2012

Discussion Leader: John Hasnas

Session I - The History of Risk

Bernstein, Peter L. Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1996, 1998. Chapter 1, “The Winds of the Greeks and the Role of the Dice” (pages 11–22).

Brenner, Reuven, Gabrielle A. Brenner and Aaron Brown. A World of Chance: Betting on Religion, Games, Wall Street. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Chapter 1, “From Religion to Risk Management: What to Do When Facing Uncertainty?” (pages 1–16).

Smith, Adam. Essays on Philosophical Subjects. Edited by W.P.D. Wightman and J.C. Bryce. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982. selections from “The History of Astronomy” (pages 33–47).

Spengler [David P. Goldman]. Asia Times Online. Hong Kong: Asia Times Online, 2010. “A Commedia for our times” (6 online pages).

Session II - Risk and Uncertainty

Knight, Frank H. Risk, Uncertainty and Profit. Washington, D.C.: Beard Books, 2002. Chapter 1, “The Place of Profit and Uncertainty in Economic Theory” (pages 3–21).

Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. New York: Random House, 2007. Selections from “Prologue” (pages xvii–xxv) and Chapter 10, “The Scandal of Prediction” (pages 137–164).

Session III - Risk and Rationality

Rebonato, Riccardo. Plight of the Fortune Tellers: Why We Need to Manage Financial Risk Differently. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007. Chapter 2, “Thinking About Risk” (pages 22–39).

Bernstein, Peter L. Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1996, 1998. Chapter 6, “Considering the Nature of Man” (pages 99–115).

Session IV - Risk and Institutional Design

Thaler, Richard H. and Cass R. Sunstein. “Libertarian Paternalism.” The American Economic Review 93, no. 2 (May 2003): 175–179. (pages 175–179)

Glaeser, Edward L. “Paternalism and Psychology.” University of Chicago Law Review 73, no. 1 (Winter 2006): 133–156. Selections (pages 133–149).

Session V - Risk Management

Rebonato, Riccardo. Plight of the Fortune Tellers: Why We Need to Manage Financial Risk Differently. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007. Chapter 1, “Why this Book Matters” (pages 1–21).

Hubbard, Douglas W. The Failure of Risk Management: Why It's Broken and How to Fix It. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2009. Selections from Chapter 1, “Healthy Skepticism for Risk Management” (pages 3–11).

Session VI - Efficient Market Theory

Fama, Eugene F. “Market Efficiency, Long-term Returns, and Behavioral Finance.” Journal of Financial Economics 49, no. 3 (September 1998): 283–306. Selections (pages 283–304).

Fox, Justin. The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street. New York: HarperCollins, 2009. Chapter 16, “Gene Fama and Dick Thaler Knock Each Other Out” (pages 287–308).