Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Risk management 101

Self-interest is our leading motivator in life. We all strive for advantages. Nevertheless, we always consider our risks (ie, risk management) prior to making a move. Some of us have a high risk appetite while others are risk averse. It’s rare making a move with limited upside and a huge downside. Yet Russia does. Why?

Possibly, the Ukraine crisis is a distraction for something else, like the cyber attacks on the European energy industry. Higher energy prices would boost Russian foreign exchange reserves.

I’m still considering the possibility that China and Russia have decided for joint invasions in order to divide NATO resources. In that case, the upside just might be more clear: a new world order.

Any partnership between China and Russia would be rooted in convenience and not Love. The border between China and Russia is “the world’s sixth-longest international border” (ie, 4,209.3 km). Both countries are more likely to be tactical friends and strategic enemies – or frenemies.

Given their age, both leaders may feel forced to cement their legacies in future history books. Their countries may lose a lot by war (eg, human lives, money, reputation) but personally they may feel that they have Nothing to Lose (eg, lyrics, video). It’s another example of the macro vs micro focus and perspective.

A 2021 article in Psyche, Why some of the smartest people can be so very stupid, states that “stupidity is a very specific cognitive failing”. Psyche: “Such stupidity is perfectly compatible with intelligence”. Hence, stupidity might be considered as a blind spot in our – overall intelligent – thinking.

Quite possibly, the 2021 Psyche article explains why most others would consider an invasion as a stupid move. Such leaders might be incapable of considering the macro impact of their micro actions. Moreover, their reputation for ruthlessness prevents their advisers from speaking up.

It’s hard (for me) to understand the strategic upside of invading Ukraine. Moving Russian borders towards Poland may (not) give a tactical upside. Perhaps, the explanation is simple: there is no upside in war.

Fool’s Overture (1977) by Supertramp
featuring Roger Hodgson as lead singer and composer
artists, artist-RH, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-RH, Wiki-album

[Verse 1]
History recalls how great the fall can be
While everybody’s sleeping, the boats put out to sea
Born on the wings of time
It seemed the answers were so easy to find

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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