The Black Swan
The “unthinkable” happens pretty regularly in the world of finance (roughly every 7-10 years), yet executives always seem to get blindsided when it actually occurs. These unthinkable events now have a name – the “black swan event”, as named by Nassim Taleb in his book The Black Swan:
However, one may argue that these events are themselves predictable in that they WILL happen – that only the timing thereof is uncertain. Now it is common for people to acknowledge in hindsight that problems were looming in 2007 & early 2008 regarding the global banking industry – but beforehand, no one seemed too concerned about it (publicly). The term “Too Big To Fail” (TBTF) was hardly ever used during those days – now it’s a regular part of our lexicon.