September 30th 2019

The Fifth Risk. Michael Lewis

The Fifth Risk. Michael Lewis. 2018. ISBN 9781324002642. From the highly acclaimed author of books such Moneyball comes a revealing discussion of how and where the Trump administration is creating huge risks inside the US Federal Government. The fifth risk is project management and in department after department the no nothing attitudes of political appointments is weakening those institutions that guard the safety of Americans every day.  The book starts by showing how little the Trump administration was interested in finding out how each department ran, what it was responsible for and its impact.  You learn about how the Department of Energy oversees the vast volumes of nuclear waste in the US and how much the safety of residents depends on this work.  A really big part of the Department of Commerce manages the US weather service and how it has now been put under the thumb of commercial companies vs public safety.  The list goes on and on.  This is a problem of the administrations own creation and it only gets worse. Problems do not go away if you chose to ignore and not learn about them.  As ever the author writes a very readable book that makes sense and draws you right through it.  I was astonished to find that the bulk of Americans really know so little about the hard work that these departments do.

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