From Russian roulette to overcautious decision-making

Risk-taking ought to be judged by its necessity, not likely outcomes, says Ariane Chapelle

Losing game: when it comes to upside, Russian roulette is not exactly comparable to risky trading

Ariane Chapelle is honorary reader in operational risk at University College London and the director of Chapelle Consulting, a UK-based risk management advisory firm

In one of the opening statements of his 2001 book, Fooled by Randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb highlights the necessity of judging decision-making by the risk taken rather than by its outcome. His illustration is Russian roulette: just because you survive the game doesn't mean it was clever to play.

As a mother, my equivalent

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