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 About Donald

Don founded Kamakura Corporation in April 1990 and currently serves as its chairman and chief executive officer where he focuses on enterprise wide risk management and modern credit risk technology. His primary financial consulting and research interests involve the practical application of leading edge financial theory to solve critical financial risk management problems. Don was elected to the 50 member RISK Magazine Hall of Fame in 2002 for his work at Kamakura. Read More

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Kamakura Corporation
2222 Kalakaua Avenue

Suite 1400
Honolulu HI 96815

Phone: 808.791.9888
Fax: 808.791.9898
info@kamakuraco.com

Americas, Canada
James McKeon
Director of USA Business Solutions
Phone: 215.932.0312

Andrew Zippan
Director, North America (Canada)
Phone: 647.405.0895
 
Asia, Pacific
Clement Ooi
President, Asia Pacific Operations
Phone: +65.6818.6336

Australia, New Zealand
Andrew Cowton
Managing Director
Phone: +61.3.9563.6082

Europe, Middle East, Africa
Jim Moloney
Managing Director, EMEA
Phone: +49.17.33.430.184

Tokyo, Japan
3-6-7 Kita-Aoyama, Level 11
Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-0061 Japan
Toshio Murate
Phone: +03.5778.7807

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kamakura blog
   
  

Kamakura is very proud of the joint research in credit risk that we will be undertaking with Rand Merchant Bank of Johannesburg (for details, see the News section of www.kamakuraco.com).  This brief note emphasizes how important “relationship” is when a financial institution and a vendor work together, using the Rand Merchant Bank and Kamakura credit project as an example.

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One of the many lessons from the credit crisis is that those institutions and senior management teams who didn’t understand the risks they were taking got badly burned.  As obvious as that lesson is, there are many institutions and risk managers who continue to rely on “black box” models with no ability to determine how the model works, when it will fail, and when it will succeed.  This blog explains why the era of black boxes must end and why the “glass box” is the hiply stated “new normal.”

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The world has lost a legend in the financial world today with the passing of Bruce Wasserstein.   We honor his life in this blog with his biography from www.wikipedia.com.

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In September 2009, the always thoughtful Society of Actuaries released a fine paper entitled “The Financial Crisis and Lessons for Insurers” by a  talented team of authors (Robert W. Klein, Gang Ma, Eric R. Ulm, Shaun Wang, Xiangjing Wei, George Zanjani).  We think that all readers of this blog should read the full paper, because it’s excellent and filled with wisdom.  In just one respect, however, using an American football analogy, the paper leaves the ball just short of the end zone and fails to score a touchdown.  This blog extols the virtues of the paper and tries to convert an additional 7 points from that touchdown.

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The role of the rating agencies in the 2007-2009 credit crisis has gotten more ink than Britney Spears recently.  Moreover, the “guilty” verdict on their role is probably the only topic on which all careful financial economists agree.  In light of that, what’s in the intermediate future for the rating agencies? On one hand, the former head of corporate ratings for one of the two major agencies expressed concern about the viability of the ratings franchise to me privately as early as 2003.  On the other hand, a veteran of one of the agencies who agrees with the “guilty” verdict thinks (with regret) that ratings are so embedded in the psyche of the financial public that it will take 50 years for the franchise to die.  In this post, we start with some comments from readers of this blog and add some thoughts of our own:

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