I spend my waking hours thinking about risk.
Risk in exchange for reward. Risk adjusted returns. Risk management. Business risk. Concentrated position risk. Counter-party risk. Liquidity risk. Sequence of returns risk. Longevity risk. Career risk.
And then after thinking about it, I read some more about it. Then I write about it. Then I talk about it on camera. Then I talk about it on podcasts. Then I think some more on it. I’m consumed with the topic which makes the next thing I’m going to say really embarrassing…
After reading about this young man Ahmaud Arbery, it occurred to me that after all this time and effort, I still don’t know shit about risk. Nothing. I have a theoretical relationship with risk, but don’t live with the real thing in the way others do.
A 25 year old man goes jogging and ends up on a road in an adjacent neighborhood to the one he lives in. But because of the color of his skin, a father and son decide he doesn’t belong on their road, in their neighborhood. So first they call the police, and their own stated cause for calling was that he was black and running. Then they hang up the phone, grab some guns, get into a pick up truck and hunt him down. Then they cut him off to have a physical confrontation with him, fire shots at him and kill him. In broad daylight. A jogger.
That you could be hunted and killed in your own state, in your own country, over the color of your skin. I don’t live with that risk. That’s real risk. It makes the stuff I spend my day talking about seem childish by comparison.
We want young people to buy in and invest in the system. We need them to perpetuate it and pay off our debts, repair our damage to the planet. We want young people to invest their money and build roots in this society. And then we have stuff like this go on?
Why would this new generation buy into a society where two months later there still hasn’t been a prosecution for this murder? We have it on camera. There’s literally a tape of it. I wouldn’t buy in either.
The murder of Ahmaud Arbery and the response so far are an absolute disgrace. And a good reminder of the real meaning of risk, the type of risk that no American should ever have to bear.
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