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Oct 19, 2021

This week, we continue our risk mini-series on No Turning Back, with a very special, distinguished guest: John Chambers, the former chairman of S&P’s sovereign rating committee. We couldn’t think of a better guest to discuss the nuances of financial risk.


John spent 24 years at Standard & Poor’s, or S&P, and is known most for downgrading the US credit rating in 2011. His insights and experiences are topical and relevant as the United States worked through the debt ceiling debate earlier this month. In the discussion, John shares his perspective on today’s debt ceiling debates, the five components of S&P’s risk assessment, and how he teaches risk at the Executive MBA level at NYU’s Stern School of Business.


Stan and Chris’s reflections in today’s episode were particularly thought-provoking. They dive into existential risk: when and how leaders consider how entire efforts will fall apart, how we should be thinking about the risk to our republic, and also discuss how a “crisis in confidence” can generate more risk to our society.


Stan’s latest book, Risk: A User’s Guide, touches on more topics like these. You can learn more here: