Lord May: Complexity in banking systems

18 January 2010

Ney York Garment Industry

A renowned expert in ecosystems, Professor Lord Robert May, is to launch the 21st Century School's Hilary Term seminar series on Complexity and Systemic Risk on Thursday 21 January. Lord May will reveal his thinking on the topic of stability and complexity in banking systems.

The recent banking crises have made it clear that increasingly complex strategies for managing risk in individual banks and investment funds have not been matched by corresponding attention to overall systemic risks. In particular, strategies that tend to minimise risk for individual banks can – under certain circumstances – maximise the probability of systemic failure. In this seminar, Lord May will outline some simple mathematical caricatures which capture some of the essential dynamics of “banking ecosystems”, and their implications for financial regulation.

Complex systems is an emerging field of research, of growing relevance to many of the systemic risks that mankind will need to address in the 21st century. Convened by Dr Felix Reed-Tsochas of the CABDyN Complexity Centre and held in association with the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, the Complexity and Systemic Risk series aims to shed new light on many of the challenges we face in this increasingly interconnected world.

This seminar will take place on Thursday 21 January, 3.30-5.00pm at the Old Indian Institute (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets). No registration is required. For more information, including a full list of seminar topics, please see our events page.

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