Are We Ready for Another Shock?

A black swan and his reflection in the water creates a shape of a scorpion.

OPINION — “Black swans” are events that arrive as unwelcome surprises and have significant effects on nations and societies. They can upend the status quo in politics, economics, or national security. Black swans are even more dangerous when superimposed on other black swans.

It’s always worth trying to anticipate potential black swans — indeed, after 9/11 the CIA created a unit, called the Red Cell, to do just that.  But doing so is more necessary today than ever, given what is higher-than-normal fragility in the systems most often affected by these events.

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