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Centro Einaudi Reports / Family Investment: Risk and the Role of Intermediaries
Two years ago, the world’s stock exchanges reached record peaks. Today, in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, the global macroeconomic picture is unsettled in what is, arguably, an inevitable phase of transformation after the rapid growth of previous past years. Western economic systems have probably accumulated enough resources to pause for reflection, clean public and private accounts, review investment choice criteria, and add a new dimension to ethical considerations, regulation and transparency. It is thus appropriate to raise questions about the funding of financial markets, to establish whether there are problems to be solved and to ask whether everything is proceeding satisfactorily or whether the channels for the choice of financial activities are in need of a rethink. This study, part of the 19th Bnl/Centro Einaudi Report on savings and investors in Italy, explores the substantial risk factors for the portfolios of Italian families, the proper measurement of which still has to be fully perfected. The author concludes that, albeit possible, improvement would in no way alter the underlying message: namely, that risk calculation as it stands at present is more than anything else a convention incapable of offering real responses to investors’ expectations.