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When you shift risk from individuals to the government (or anyone else, as what happens every day in financial markets) one of three things can happen:
1. The risk still exists, but it’s smaller because of the power of diversification.
2. The risk stays the same size and is transferred from one party to another.
3. The risk increases, because you’ve created a new systematic risk, moral hazard, or some distortion in which prices and incentives don’t make sense anymore.
known-unknownsWelcome to Known Unknowns, a newsletter that’s here to remind you that although you can shift risk onto someone else, it never really disappears.