Reviews on Financial Risk Management

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A Review on Financial Risk Management

Tianshu Hou
FMRM 0811
Dec. 2011

【Outline】
I. Introduction
II. The definition and types of financial risk
III. Risk management and the theoretical foundation
IV. The process of financial risk management
V. The challenges faced by the modern financial risk management theories

【Abstract】
Financial risks are exposures of uncertainties for those participants in financial market. Financial risks can be divided into four categories: market risk, credit risk, liquidity risk and operational risk. Risk management has become more and more crucial for a market participant to survive in the highly competitive market. As the development of the global financial market, there are many phenomena that cannot be explained by traditional financial risk management theories. These phenomena have accelerated the development of behavioral finance and economic physics. The financial management theories have already improved a lot over the past decades, but still facing some challenges. Therefore, this report will review some important issues in the financial risk management; introduce some theoretical foundation of financial risk management, and discuss the challenges faced by the modern financial risk management.

I. Introduction
Financial risk is one of the basic characteristics of financial system and financial activities. And financial risk management has become an important component of the economic and financial system since the occurrence of financial in human society. Over the past few decades, economic globalization spread across the world with the falling down of the Bretton Woods system. Under above background, the financial markets have become even more unstable due to some significant changes. Many events happened during the decades, including the “Black Monday” of the year 1987, the stock crisis in Japan in 1990, the European monetary crisis in 1992, the financial storm of Asia in 1997, the bankruptcy of Long-Term Capital Management in 1998, and the most recent global financial crisis triggered in the year 2008. All these changes brought enormous destruction of the smooth development of the world economy and the financial market. At the same time, they also helped people realized the necessity and urgency of the financial risk management. Why did the crisis happened and how to avoid the risk as much as possible? These questions have been endowed more significant meaning for the further development of the economy. Therefore, this report will review some important issues in the financial risk management; introduce some theoretical foundation of financial risk management, and discuss the challenges faced by the modern financial risk management.

II. The Definition and Types of Financial Risk
The word “risk” itself is neutral, which means we cannot define risk a good thing or bad. Risk is one of the internal features of human behavior, and it comes from the uncertainty of the future results. Therefore, briefly speaking, risk can be defined as the exposure to uncertainty. In the definition of risk, there are two extremely important factors: first is uncertainty. Uncertainty can be considered as the distribution of the possibility of one or more results. To study risk, we need to have a precise description about the possibility of the risk. However, from the point view of a risk manager, the possible result in the future and the characteristic of the possibility distribution are usually unknown, so subjective factors are frequently needed when making decisions. The second factor is the exposure to uncertainty. Different human activities were influenced at different level to the same uncertainty. For example, the future weather is uncertain to everyone, but the influence it has over agriculture can be far deeper than that over finance industry or other industry. Based on the above description about risk, we could have a clearer definition of financial risk. Financial risk is the...
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