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Systemic Risk Forum

Systemic risk is the risk of collapse of the financial system itself. How can you maintain a margin of safety in regards to systemic risk? Historically, collapses are not all that rare. Many people living through history's worse collapses were prepared to cope with less comfort and degraded technology. However, today, few people have either the skills or the stuff of two generations ago. Instead, as a society we have made an extremist systemic bet - an all-in gamble that we will never have to live without our highly integrated, tightly coupled economy. This economy is responsible for the distribution of our food, electricity, communication and other goods and services that we rely upon completely. In short, if we don't have everything working, then we won't have anything working. What could go wrong?

This forum is not about predictions or the future; instead it is about preparation and planning for anything worth insuring that the insurance companies cannot help protect. While I am happy to rely on the globalized 21st century economy for my family's upside, I am have opted out of this system for insuring its downside. When is it best to rely on yourself? For you and yours, what is non-negotiable? Food and water? Heat and shelter? Physical security? Trade skills or primitive skills that would serve a use in a less integrated economy?

Historically modest natural and unnatural crises in the past few years have proved that you could be on your own for days or weeks and have indicated that larger disruptions could leave you on your own for months or years. How long are you prepared for? Are we comfortable with an all-in bet that we are above and beyond the reach of history to disrupt our way of life?