Why We Should Not (Always) Blame Congress

August 2012 – Congress is taking a five-week recess leaving a lengthy list of uncompleted work: farmers facing one of the most devastating drought seasons in 50 years are unclear whether they will receive federal assistance; over $100 billion in across-the-board cuts are expected to impact domestic programs and military spending on January 2, 2013, […]

Reform of the $1.2 Trillion U.S. National Flood Insurance Program

Congress passed on June 29 a 5-year extension of the federally-run NFIP which covers 5.6 million policyholders across the country. The President is expected to sign it into law soon. The bill contains several important modifications in the operation of the program, notably a much welcome move from subsidized rates to risk-based premiums and a […]

Toward a Euro II Quarantine Zone? (June 2012)

(with Donald E. Callaghan). With Christine Lagarde leading the IMF and Mario Draghi as president of the ECB, there is a significant opportunity for decisive and bold action to break away from incrementalism regarding the eurozone debt crises. These leaders have made it clear that they have the firepower and will to lead the eurozone […]

Large NBER Conference on Catastrophe Risks. May 11 & 12, 2012. Cambridge, MA

Every 10 years or so the US National Bureau of Economic Research gathers together top thinkers and practitioners on catastrophe risks for a special 1.5 day event to highlight cutting edge research in the field. * What are the key challenges and opportunities posed by extreme events today? * What have we learned in recent […]

A strong earthquake hit Mexico today (March 21, 2012)

A strong 7.4 earthquake hit Mexico today from its large capital to its resort-studded southern. It seems that the way the quake shook the country and the fact that it hit in several areas where new construction were seismic proof was critical here. In 1985 a massive 8.0 earthquake hit Mexico City and killed nearly […]

Is Income Disparity Slowly Fueling the Next Global Crisis?

Opinion co-authored with Kevin Lu – The Wall Street Journal, Jan 21 2012. The recent years have seen the occurrence of an unprecedented series of catastrophes and crises over a very short period of time. Terrorist attacks in New York, Madrid, London and Mumbai; massive deadly natural disasters in one country after another: not only […]

2012 Global Risks Report now available.

The world has recently gone through rather extraordinary times. What are the top risks for 2012? Look at the 7th edition of the World Ecocomomic Forum GRR report, in collaboration with the Wharton Risk Center, MMC, SwissRe and Zurich. What are the top 50 risks this year? CLICK HERE TO WATCH FOR A RECENT INTERVIEW […]

G20 to Support the Establishment of National Risk Officers?

Looking at the past decade, one cannot but wonder about the series of unprecedented large-scale catastrophes and crises that occurred in such a short period of time. Massive terrorist attacks; repeated floods of unprecedented magnitude; numerous earthquakes and tsunamis with countless fatalities; devastating hurricanes, typhoons and storms in highly populated areas; major technological and environmental […]

Prepare yourself, natural disasters will only get worse (Washington Post, Sept 2011)

by Erwann Michel-Kerjan – The Washington Post – 09/15/2011 “The world has entered a new era of catastrophes. Economic losses from hurricanes, earthquakes and resulting tsunamis, floods, wildfires and other natural disasters increased from $528 billion (1981-1990) to more than $1.2 trillion over the period 2001-2010. The 9.0 earthquake and massive tsunami in Japan this […]

Dr. Michel-Kerjan receives the prestigious Kulp-Wright Award for the most influential book on risk management (Summer 2011)

The Kulp-Wright Book Award is presented annually by the American Risk and Insurance Association to the author(s) of a book considered to be the most influential text published on the economics of risk management and insurance. This year award will be given to the authors of the book At War with the Weather: Managing large-scale […]