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ebook / ISBN-13: 9781472214164

Price: £12.99

ON SALE: 8th October 2015

Genre: Economics, Finance, Business & Management

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Why anti-lock brakes make us drive faster

Why saving money can lead to financial crises

How football helmets make the game more dangerous

Why letting forest fires burn can be safer than putting them out

We have learned a staggering amount about human nature and disaster-yet we are continually unprepared for car crashes, floods, and financial crises. Partly this is because the very success we’ve had making life safer enables us to take more extreme, different risks. As our cities, transport systems, and financial markets become more interconnected and complex, so does the potential for disaster.

How do we stay safe? Should we? What if our attempts are exposing us even more to the very risks we are trying to avoid? What if acceptance of danger ultimately makes us more secure and prosperous? Is there such a thing as foolproof?

In this fascinating account of risk-taking and crisis, Greg Ip presents a macro theory of human nature and disaster that explains how we can keep ourselves safe in our increasingly dangerous world.


In this incisive and richly reported book, Greg Ip forces us to rethink our assumptions about risk. He shows that progress might depend on less safety, not more - and that stability can often be destabilizing. FOOLPROOF is the rare book you'll be thinking about long after you've turned the final page.
Daniel H. Pink, author of DRIVE and TO SELL IS HUMAN
A powerful and original book on a vital subject - read it!
Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist Strikes Back
Financial Times
Drawing on a fascinating range of stories about forest fires and flood control, football helmets and anti-lock brakes, bank runs and epidemics, Foolproof is about the unintended and often very surprising consequences of our attempts to protect ourselves from disasters. Illuminating and entertaining, this book that will change the way you think about the world of risk.
Liaquat Ahamed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lords of Finance
It has been said that the problem with making things idiot-proof is that someone will just build a better idiot. Greg Ip's new book shows us just how that happens, from anti-lock brakes to the gold standard, to the financial crisis we are still reckoning with today. Deftly written and filled with lucid explanations of complex topics, this is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand why seemingly safe territory so often turns out to be dangerous quicksand.
Megan McArdle, author, The Up Side of Down
The safer you are, the more you are at risk; crises are born of success as much as failure. Surveying a century of struggles to fend off catastrophe, from financial panic to forest fires, Greg Ip explores these paradoxes deftly, cementing his position as a leading observer of the modern economy-and of the human condition.
Sebastian Mallaby, author of More Money Than God