Managing our risk

In reply to Mr Olsson (“Investment, not risk”, Opinion, April 17), his letter demonstrates an inability to recognise we must accept some responsibility for our actions.

It’s easy to blame lenders allowing us to borrow and then see our house repossessed if we borrowed too much or bought too dear, or we didn’t protect ourselves against mishap.

We take the decisions and reap profits from our hopeful success, however rated.

He talks about “casino banking” yet the biggest calamities have been personal debt, too liberal mortgage lending policies and too much speculative property, often connected to housing. In good times, this seems fine – everyone wins. House prices rise (too excessively and Government should have acted), “everyone” works and all is happy. However, when crashing, it hits hard.

He lambasts Britain (blaming Lady Thatcher), yet the UK is still the number five global manufacturer. He rants about the finance sector which contributes so much to the economy. It is foolhardy to kill the golden goose because of past regulatory failures not acting on information they possessed. Heretical, yes, but the finance sector will lead us out of economic recession.

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He should also research philanthropic donors and may be surprised his rhetoric doesn’t stack-up. Bill Gates is the biggest ever donor, so we should do more to encourage enterprise, not kill it.

We want people to risk “our money” and become businesspeople, risking their time and money and borrowing to invest in the economy and jobs. The biggest risk is doing “nothing”.

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The same applies to anyone with money under the mattress or in the bank where thief or inflation can steal it.

“No risk” doesn’t exist – just the recognition that risk is in all things and that to manage that we diversify what we have.

You risk in the hope of gaining reward – or to insure yourself against upset.

Philip J Milton


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