Events trigger events, and responding to crisis means policy makers often do not deal with long-term risks
Governments should learn from companies and appoint dedicated "risk ministers", according to the authors of a World Economic Forum (WEF) report.
The "ministers" should assess a broad range of economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological risks, the Global Risks 2013 report's
Companies have long had their own "finance ministers", though they call them chief financial officers, and in recent years it has become common to also have risk management functions in companies, according to Axel Lehmann, himself a chief risk officer at Zurich Insurance and a co-author of the report.
It would be useful, adds Lee Howell, managing director of the WEF's Risk Response Network and editor of the report, if governments were to create similar functions, with a view to "take an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to risk".
"How often do you see a central bank governor talk to a defence minister?" he says. "It doesn't really happen."