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BPThe BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf is obviously the result of a failure of both technology and regulation. However, the biggest culprit is a catastrophic failure of risk management.

The job of a risk manager is to hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst. That means putting emergency response systems in place to cope with a worst-case scenario. 

It’s hard to imagine a scenario any worse than the one we are witnessing in the Gulf. An offshore oil rig explodes, killing 11 workers. The rig collapses into the ocean. Oil continues to gush from a deep sea well, threatening the Gulf coast, the Florida Keys and perhaps even the Eastern seaboard.

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