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The general public demands professionalism in dealing with all sorts of crisis such as terrorist attacks, tsunamis, hurricanes, pandemics, etc.
However, most of the calamities take a different shape, and ordinary people can barely recognize them.
The capability of responding to long-term risks should be the embodiment of competence and serve as a reminder to every new administration.
According to many, Trump’s administration exhibits short-sighted policy and neglects long-term problems.
Is this yet another leftist propaganda or the real deal? – It’s up to you to assess the predicament.
Who Should Read “The Fifth Risk”? And Why?
If you don’t want to take the blame for a potential setback, then you’d be better off not understanding the problem in the first place. It’s a strategy that allows many politicians to emphasize transient gains, and mislead the public.
The Fifth Risk zooms in on the institutional policies and Federal governing that are in need of an overhaul. It stands to reason why most people believe that the power of the bureaucracy should be curtailed.
With that being said, we can say that “The Fifth Risk” would be a good fit for those who have some interest in US politics.
About Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis is an outstanding author and financial journalist who has a passion for economics and innovation.
He obtained his B.A. from Princeton University and M.A. from London School of Economics.
He is the author of Moneyball.
“The Fifth Risk PDF Summary”
2016 US presidential elections have elicited a huge interest from the global community. On the morning of November 9th, 2016, the US Department of Energy was preparing to host both Democrats and Republicans, depending on the outcome of the elections.
When Obama’s administration took over eight years earlier, many folks stormed into the Department of Energy and other Federal institutions.
Shockingly, Donald Trump became the 45th US president, by utilizing unconventionality as the main thrust of his message.
However, on the first day, Trump’s officials were nowhere to be found.
No places were brimming with his representatives as if the world had come to a halt. It was dead silence! Prior to Obama’s takeover of the country, George W. Bush’s administration had successfully prepared a transfer of power.
Obama wanted to ensure an even smoother transition, and help the new administration to seize control over the vast and complex federal network of over 2 million employees.
Thomas Pyle, head of the American Energy Alliance was put in charge of the “Landing Team” that Trump requested. Thomas didn’t divulge any information regarding his designation but took everyone by surprise including DOE Chief of Staff Kevin Knobloch with his lethargy.
Roughly a month after the elections, a meeting was held between Thomas Pyle, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Deputy Secretary Sherwood-Randall, and Knobloch.
During the intercourse, many things cropped up, but Thomas refrained himself from actively participating in the conversation.
During Obama’s tenure, Moniz became a crucial figure in the attempt to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. He was reputed to have unsurpassable expertise in nuclear science and many other areas, but despite all of this, Pyle had no intentions in hearing what he had to say.
Eventually, Thomas Pyle sent a list of 74 questions and demanded quick answers. The DOE employees and staffers implied that they were unable to prepare the Trump’s administration for the challenge because they weren’t interested in absorbing the fundamental principles of the Federal Government.
Probably the only thing that Trump’s administration did before the Inauguration Day was to release all of Obama’s appointees in the federal government from their duties.
The Department of Energy feared that Trump’s representatives were unaware of the potential calamities that may ensue as a result of ineptitude.
$30 billion budget was assigned to the DOE to continue its operations and ensure nuclear balance in the world.
In June 2017, Trump’s administration still struggled to penetrate all elements of the federal government. The takeover was far from done. The Patent Office was still without its top executive as Trump hadn’t appointed anyone to that position.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were on the same wavelength.
Two former US presidents, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama had managed to conduct most of their managerial operations by that time, but Trump failed to do likewise.
One person managed to get into office, and that was former Texas governor Rick Perry. In 2011, he even avowed that he plans on dismissing three major departments of the federal government:
- DOE ( but he didn’t dare to say it)
The DOE had a fearsome reputation and a program to render low-interest loans to companies which sought alternative energy sources. By stimulating energy efficiency, the DOE could benefit in the upcoming period.
At the same time, the Federal Government had turned into a public spectacle. Never, throughout American history, had the people been so keen to understand what is going on inside the federal buildings as they are under Trump.
The American public was worried about the quality of service rendered, and the potential ineptitude that may occur.
Michael Lewis reveals that by the summer of 2017, he had broken words with dozens of experts regarding the whole risk-facing factor during the transition. The Federal Government shared a burden and liability for any calamity that may ensue under their watch.
American society is in need of expertise to deal with the crisis of every kind.
A throwback to 2005 when the Congress enacted a $70 billion loan program under the supervision of John MacWilliams. In an attempt to reinvigorate the energy technologies, the Federal Government intended to stimulate research and innovation in the private sector.
Such a move could then hasten the harnessing of all energy sources and plow back the profits into the market.
The biggest gamble was the stock market, which didn’t endorse risky moves that are in need of time to pay off. Tremendous uncertainty emerged because harnessing solar energy is not on the same wavelength as creating a new cool app.
Unlike many others, John MacWilliams reaped the benefits of the free market without being subjugated in any way whatsoever. His colleagues at Heritage Foundation were not given the same opportunity as most of their work felt under heavy scrutiny.
According to his convictions, government intervention could help growing industries in their soaring attempt to increase overall consumption.
After the establishment, the energy industry began to experience its first signs of growth. On a political plan, the loan program had been regarded as a crushing defeat. What came as a shock was the fact that most of the elites focused their efforts on discrediting the project by pinpointing the Solyndra defeat.
The right-wingers capitalized on this downside and accused the government of wrongdoing, meaningless spending, and fraud. It became a political burden that no one had the guts to carry.
In late June 2017, Michael Lewis embarked on a journey to fulfill his mission by getting to the bottom of every risk. It wasn’t easy to get a bird’s eye view of the situation, which MacWilliams endeavored to bring to light.
In order to make a little headway in the process, he had to identify the factors which pose a threat to the American lifestyle.
On the grounds that DOE under Secretary Moniz was compelled to make a list of disasters that could happen, Lewis had a tough time in understanding the stigma. One of the scenarios included a massive relocation of millions of Americans from Eastern Seaboard to the Midwest.
Another scenario was a hurricane hitting Texas, and a third one was a devastating earthquake in the Pacific Northwest that could destabilize America’s power supply.
The fourth one included the electrical grid.
Anyway, when Lewis was curious to proceed and get a clear definition of the fifth risk, a strained silence emerged. It seemed as though nothing is explainable.
He assumed that the reason behind this stalemate was, in fact, the classified information MacWilliams was unable to share. He did utter a few words: Project Management.
If you are one of those who ponder a lot before making a conclusion, there is another way of interpreting John MacWilliams’ fifth risk. It depicts a society whose ineptitude of handling long-term risks is compensated by short-term solutions.
It is a kind of habit.
The bottom line is, nurturing a certain agenda or worldview can often get into the way of science. According to Michael Lewis, Trump’s administration decided to remain ignorant about real issues, and leave them unsolved.
However, he doesn’t accuse Trump of inventing this political expression.
Ali Zaidi is a Pakistani-born American who served at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OBM). He also provided professional assistance in the implementation of the Climate Action Plan under Presiden’s orders.
Before President Obama took office, Ali was struck upon hearing his words: “Poverty is not a family value.”
When Obama won the elections, Ali obtained his college degree from Harvard and sought a place in the new administration. Upon landing a job at the White House, he faced multiple challenges. One day, Ali was assigned a task to take a look at the budget of the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) and was mesmerized by its complexity.
$220billion in assets represented the backbone of American diet and consumption.
This Federal Institution, unlike others, was consisted of bipartisan who shared the same values, more or less. The staff in charge of this Federal branch wanted to prepare a warm welcome for Trump’s administration and guide them through the process.
The first day after the elections, no one showed up.
Thirty days have passed since the USDA staff had laid eyes upon the new representatives. It was just one guy, Brian Klippenstein. A couple of weeks before the Inauguration, three more joined and had a brief meeting with the USDA to absorb the insights on how things flew around here.
But that didn’t rejuvenate the USDA.
Kevin Concannon was compelled to come out of retirement and preside over the “Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services” inside the USDA. At 70 years of age, someone had to lay the groundwork until the Trump representatives were ready to run the show.
In January 2017, they finally arrived.
It was frightening mostly because of the responsibilities such institution generates, and the expertise needed to run it.
Politicians can be devious, and that’s not something you should get particularly upset about.
Key Lessons from “The Fifth Risk”
1. The effects of good management
2. Energy reliance can be a dangerous game
3. Votes = responsibility
The effects of good management
A proficient leader can galvanize others into action and engross them in any project.
Therefore, it doesn’t really matter what your sphere of interests is, but how you handle long-term risks.
Energy reliance can be a dangerous game
The Federal Government of the US realized that the private sector should be financed in their attempt to find alternative energy sources that could bring “energetic” balance.
In other words, what the DOE should have done years ago, is dismissing short-term policies and focus solely on a long-term solution.
But that’s easier said than done!
Votes = responsibility
Michael Lewis criticizes the inability of Trump’s administration to take command over the Federal Government.
To that extent, it’s only logical to endorse a smooth transition of power where the people are represented in every legislative body.
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“The Fifth Risk Quotes”
There was a rift in American life that was now coursing through the American government. It wasn’t between Democrats and Republicans. It was between the people who were in it for the mission, and the people who were in it for the money. Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
Not just politicians, but we all have to deal with risks and withstand the pressure that goes along with them.
In the same fashion, politicians ought to put ideological differences aside and allocate the country’s resources in the most effective manner.
This book tells a great deal about various political inconsistencies and how to tackle them.