Some thought-provoking items from The Wharton School on the perception and reality of risk:
A further problem: the world's growing interconnectedness. "An earthquake in China is not just a Chinese issue any more, it's a Wal-Mart issue," Michel-Kerjan said during the panel.
The financial markets have tied countries together in ways that are not fully understood. The current financial crisis began with a small slice of the home mortgage market in the U.S. and evolved into a worldwide recession. Indeed, the global trade in securities backed by American mortgages and other forms of debt helped spread the contagion, while many experts had expected the opposite -- that these securities would dampen financial shocks by diluting risk.