The market for trading natural catastrophe risk is seen as created and structured by the things market participants do - hence the carefully-worded title of the book. The seven main chapters are also carefully titled. They describe the reinsurance market ('Reinsurance: A Market for Acts of God');. It is a financial market that insures insurance firms, and thus trades in large-scale disasters. Reinsurance is therefore the backbone for economic and social recovery in times of unimaginable losses, such as Hurricane Katrina or the attack on the World Trade Centre, through enabling insurers to pay their claims. In this Insurance Institute of London lecture, Professor Paula Jarzabkowski launched her book “Making a Market for Acts of God: The Practice of.
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Making a market for acts of God
The chapters that follow cover managing collective risk, transforming disasters into deals, managing the absence of models, supporting competition in a consensus market, moving from a market for acts of God to one for commodities, and proposing a practice theory of the market.
Hopefully the reinsurance industry will prove stronger than the banking system; if not,wemay soon be returning to Making a Market for Acts of God to help us understand what exactly went wrong.
Paula travelled to more congenial places - Bermuda, Lloyds of London, European capitals, Asian capitals and Monte Carlo to see the reinsurance tribes at work. The result is a groundbreaking book explaining what the different tribes actually do.
It is an insightful and vivid account that explains how our market works, how it identifies, prices and manages risk.
It also provides important warnings regarding the implications of recent changes to industry structure.
It is a must read for anyone interested in re insurance, including those working in this industry. Based on careful ethnographic analysis at a number of global sites, the authors provide insights into the unique networks and practices which constitute the global reinsurance market and its role as the ultimate societal safety net against large scale acts of God.
This is a book about reinsurance but Jarzabkowski, Bednarek and Spee have achieved much more than this, making it a must read making a market for acts of god anyone working on practice theory, risk studies, economic sociology and social studies of finance.
The book shows, however, that the risk society is also, above all, a formidable opportunity for financial markets.
By analysing how reinsurers turn natural disasters unpredictable and theoretically incalculable Acts of God into tradable objects, the authors provide a major contribution to understanding the marketization of our societies and its implications.
Ecole des mines de Paris "Making a Market for Acts of God provides a fascinating and incisive practice-based account of how reinsurance markets function for large-scale disasters, where assessment of risk can be more of an art than a science.
Reporting on an ambitious project that details how a globally making a market for acts of god market gets coordinated, it is a must read for those interested in practice theory, social studies of markets, and the social construction of risk.
Graham Chair, University of Alberta "This ethnographic study of the insurance industry performs an important and urgent task: The authors bring wonderful clarity to difficult themes, from the structuring of financial deals to developing a macro-level theory of social practice that will be insightful for scholars making a market for acts of god strategy-as-practice or practice approaches more broadly.
This book will be a stimulating read for financial professionals, social scientists, regulators and policy makers alike.
The book provides an original contribution to the social studies of markets and finance and is without a doubt one of the best available illustrations of the heuristic power of the practice approach.
It is also a demonstration of how relational and practice-based approaches can tackle big questions and provide fresh and relevant insights.
Above all, the book is testimony of the excellent intellectual skills and methodological prowess of the authors - a masterclass in how to study and describe in an accessible way a seemingly complex and almost intractable phenomenon. The making a market for acts of god shadowed underwriters around the world as they traded risks through multiple disasters.
For instance, this book takes readers into the desperate hours of pricing Japanese risks during Marchwhile the devastating aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake is unfolding.
To show how the market works, the book offers authentic tales gathered from observations of reinsurers in Bermuda, Lloyd's of London, Continental Europe and SE Asia as they evaluate, price and compete for different risks as part of their everyday practice.
Paula included within her presentation a review of insurance cycles, pricing making a market for acts of god the insurance market and how especially in the reinsurance market, we are seeing unprecedented change.
Making a Market for Acts of God:
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