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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Bearing Limit and WMD

From the Butler Report on WMD:
"... more weight was placed on the intelligence than it could bear ..."

In our risk management practice, we have for many years been using the term "bearing limit" to refer to the capacity of a unit to contain risk or uncertainty. (Among other things, the term is a punning reference to the downfall of Barings Bank, brought down by the activities of Nic Leeson, a so-called rogue trader who exceeded his bearing limit.)

The example of WMD intelligence now extends this notion of bearing limit to cover knowledge and intelligence.

The term "risk-bearing limit" is used in a Sept 2001 paper Reflections on New Financial System in Japan (pdf)

A notion of bearing limit is widely found in mechanical engineering, although it can also be found in horticultural systems. (Fruit Thinning)

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