February 28, 2016

What behavioral theory explains how hard it can be for even those who know it to understand?

Sir, Tim Harford discusses “base rate” and admonishes us:“It is easy to leap to conclusions about probability, but we should all form the habit of taking a step back instead. We should try to find out the base rate, or at least to guess what it might be. Without it, we’re building our analysis on empty foundations” “How to make good guesses” February 26.

So Mr. Harford: Clearly an asset that is evaluated as risky is normally expected to cause larger losses to a bank than an asset that is perceived as safe. But, what is the base rate for that a bank would create excessive exposures to what is ex ante perceived as risky? Is really what’s risky more dangerous to the bank system than what is perceived or has been deemed as safe? 

What sort of behaviorial explanation would Daniel Kahneman, Amos Tversky, Maya Bar-Hillel, Richard Nisbett, Eugene Borgida, Philip Tetlock and other experts give to the fact that a person like the Undercover Economist, even when in possession of the required knowledge, just cannot accept the fact that the pillar of our current bank regulations, the credit risk weighted capital requirements, is built upon a completely wrong foundation? 

@PerKurowski ©