The World Economic Forum (WEF) issued it’s Global Risks of 2014 list. The authors state “this report is something that [executives] have found very useful because it highlights not only what they may be thinking, but also what a [number] of experts around the world are thinking” across various disciplines.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, perceptions about what constitutes a major risk have transformed rapidly in recent years. For example, the top five global risks identified in the 2014 Report are entirely different from the top five risks identified by executives, researchers and other experts who were surveyed in 2007, Kunreuther and Michel-Kerjan note. This year, the most likely five risks, ranked in descending order, were income disparity, extreme weather events, unemployment and underemployment, climate change and cyber-attacks. In 2007, the five systemic risks rated most likely were, in descending order, the breakdown of official information infrastructure, followed by chronic disease in developed countries, oil price shock, China’s economic hard landing and, finally, asset price collapse.
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