Book Club: "An Economist Walks Into a Brothel: And Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk"
Join us for lunch and a discussion on Allison Schrager’s An Economist Walks Into a Brothel: And Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk.
Allison Schrager is an economist, writer, and co-founder of the risk advisory firm Lifecycle Finance Partners LLC.
In An Economist Walks into a Brothel: And Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk, Schrager provides five principles for managing and assessing risk. She interviews poker players, paparazzo, horse breeders, and a war general in the pursuit of identifying how and why risky decisions are made.
Like Levitt and Dubner’s Freakonomics Allison Schrager explores risk taking outside the paradigm of data-dense economics and finance texts.
The book starts out at the “Bunny Ranch,” a legal brothel in Carson City Nevada, analyzing how the women and management negotiate price with customers to compensate for the risks of legal sex work. Schrager continues with analyses of paparazzi stalking celebrities, a professional poker player, a Kentucky racehorse breeder and a Hawaiian jet ski surfer to draw out her five risk management principles. These are “No risk, no reward," “I’m irrational and I know it,” “Get the biggest bang for your risk buck,” “Be the Master of your domain” and “Uncertainty happens.”
Please come prepared to discuss which of Schrager’s examples and/or principles of risk are insightful for client interactions, professional development, and portfolio management.
The Los Angeles Public Library has 3 copies of the physical book, 12 ebook copies, and 7 audio copies. It’s also available to buy on Amazon, iBooks, and on the shelves of book retailers.
Schrager is a writer and co-founder of the risk advisory firm Lifecycle Finance Partners LLC. Schrager is a reporter at Quartz and has been a regular contributor to The Economist, Reuters and Bloomberg Businessweek. She has a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University and published An Economist Walks Into a Brothel: And Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk in April 2019. Her very interesting podcast discussing the book and her career with Bloomberg’s Barry Ritholtz can be streamed here.
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Charlotte Chamberlain, CFA and Don Brown, CFA
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