Presenting Riski: Another Open-Sourced Project Bringing "High Finance" To The People, And A Damned Good Index Catalog

Tyler Durden's picture

When the Freerisk concept launched some time ago with "the goal of making freely available the data, algorithms and
tools necessary to perform financial modeling" we were skeptical. After all we had realized that when it comes to opensourcing financial data and analysis, the incentive has to be greater than the opportunity cost of expensive (and expansive) due diligence and proprietary investment conclusions. Since there is just one site which has succeeded to date in creating an open sourced investing community (, not to be confused with comparably named imitations), this is certainly a unique niche just begging to be penetrated. However, as scale in finance is key, starting a grassroots campaign without incentives is all but doomed to failure. And while so far freerisk has, unfortunately, not managed to make much if any dent as an alternative provider to data mining and analysis (especially vis-a-vis embedded and groupthink promoting organizations such as the rating agencies), the two founders have recently developed Riski, a site which is still in its infancy, yet which may one day become a go to wikipedia for all things financial.

From the page's self description:

Riski is a open source project to draw together many resources which
relate to the regulation of financial markets by the 111th Congress as a
result of the worst "global financial crisis" in 80 years.

Not surprisingly, the site, which borrows much from a wiki approach to finance, is aiming at becoming just that: a wikipedia (and possibly aiming to become a wikileaks) focused on the topic of financial regulation to start, and everything else financial soon thereafter. The website describes its purpose as follows:

Fair, stable and transparent financial markets and system are cornerstones for democracy. The credit crisis of 2007-2009 has highlighted the need to reform the regulation of our financial system to reduce systemic risk and more effectively protect investors. The authority and reach of our financial regulators is being revamped. And our nation's relation to politically empowered global agencies is being revised.

Confidence and trust in the financial system, by the people, can be developed by opening the lawmaking process to input and scrutiny.

Riski was developed as an open platform for legislators, market participants, financial technology experts, regulators, lobbyists, academics and the media to contribute to a body of knowledge about these important topics.

We recognize that various parties have points of view which may conflict and believe that exposing information to "sunlight" and public exposure will help bring common interests to the surface.

And while the content in the website is for now modest, and in many ways shares data with its far bigger and more established peer, it will provide the basis for yet another open-sourced attempt at providing an objective, peer-created content in the realm of finance.

Most importantly, to readers of Zero Hedge to whom some of the acronyms and specific word usage may seem arcane and google-necessitating, we urge you to bookmark and frequent the Riski index page which breaks down some of the most important terms in modern finance. (we urge Free Risk to add a node on Shadow Banking, by far the most important term in finance for the past and upcoming decade)

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zhandax's picture

(we urge Free Risk to add a node on Shadow Banking, by far the most important term in finance for the past and upcoming decade)

Tyler, they read your mind.


Sean7k's picture

Well, if the CIA contributes to this site as much as to wikipedia, I'm sure it will be cleansed of any useful data and then propagandized to encourage the bankster agenda.

Until people recognize the total failure of regulation (except when used to eliminate competition) as a concept, as a rule of law and as control on criminal behavior, we can do nothing to create transparency in markets. The part of "free markets" that few understand is their ability to discipline market actors. However, humans believe and are led to believe it is only when we act that something can be fixed or protected. Ask mother earth how well that is working out. If regulation works, then why is it constantly in need of overhaul and amendment?

The percentage of people willing to pay attention to the detail of 2000 page bills (bills representatives fail to read or understand) is miniscule and incapable of creating a stir in the world of modern hypnotic media.

If you want to develop transparency, free markets and "level the playing field", you have to recreate the concept of government as we know it. Government must be cut to an absolute minimum. This minimizes the ability of a few elites to game the law system.

The judicial system has to be independent of government and function as a protector of common law, eschewing liability law and commercial code. It must be privately financed so it is beholden to the people- not the government that grooms, elects and empowers it's members.

Finally, the power of the purse must reside in the individual and not through representation. Therefore, taxation must be voluntary. The currency must be protected from legal tender laws. Once people recognize they can "vote" themselves appropriations- the horse has left the barn. Once people can be bought off with small entitlements- people lose the encouragement to work. Once charity is transferred to government- the people are excused from compassion. Once all of your wages and profits remain in your wallet and you gain power over their distribution- you become empowered and liberty is rediscovered.

zhandax's picture

Worthy sentiment.  How do you propose getting from here to there? 

Some take the 'Its a start' approach as shown by many here buying their own lawful money as proscribed by the Constitution.  Others take the political approach which has resulted in the Tea Party (for better or worse).  Riski is yet another 'Its a start'.  Will any of these small starts ultimately be successful in getting us 'there'?  Best guess looking at the dawn of 2011 is no; it will require collapse or something close enough to flush the toxins from the system.  The true value of these small starts may not be seen until we begin to dig out from the rubble.

Sean7k's picture

Of course, power is never surrendered willingly- it is fought for- often to the point of total destruction. Still, like you've said, small starts, developing a foundation of political and economic inquiry that results in the establishment of liberty and the elimination of traction for elites to further feed off the host of society would be useful. A shovel to help remove the rubble, lay a new foundation and rebuild with the permission of society- rather than dictating the rules of a new enslavement.

jeff montanye's picture

it's not so much the size of government, it's how carefully the people discipline it.  francis fukuyama has an essay on income inequality and recent politics that casts some light.

dark pools of soros's picture

nothing short of energy, food and debt freedom will free the people... well, it will at least put the people in a position to fight once the taxes are raised insanely as a last resort


when people deprogram themselves into living in ways to greatly reduce their energy and food consumption it grants them more and more freedom.  Don't think of it as a freedom on/ freedom off.  think of it as a sliding scale towards less shackles and more empowerment

AnAnonymous's picture

If they reach the same reliability as Wikipedia, that is going to be extremelly fine for doom and gloom proponents...

knukles's picture

As Wikipedia is the world's most authorative and exhaustive compendium of imaginary and made up "fact", given the open Wiki format, shall Riski follow?

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

 a unique niche just begging to be penetrated

Is the by-line correct?  This sounds like Money McBags... ;)

doolittlegeorge's picture

wow, a biz plan being promoted on ZH.  What's next...a ceo interview?  financial data?  growth prospects?  love it!

dark pools of soros's picture

you forgot IPO - do it Tyler, ticker ZH is all yours..  make sure the goldman sack and JPM have an equal part in bringing you to market and 'sustainability'


pay the divies in gold/silver physical


ArmchairRevolutionary's picture

I like the idea.  Maybe instead of being a place where people bitch and moan about the issues, it can be a place where people get together and solve particular issues.  Thank you for sharing this Tyler.

Mercury's picture

There is a lot of overlap with Wikipedia but hey, it can't hurt and having finance-related subjects concentrated in one area is helpful in many circumstances I think.


Fair, stable and transparent financial markets and system are cornerstones for democracy.

Good Lord can we please stop associating democracy with everything that is fair and good?  I actually blame Bush for this meme when he was selling the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Democracy isn't even that far up the list of things that make (made) the USA special and unique.  Democracy is morally neutral, period.  You would much rather live in a monarchy with private property rights, enforceable contracts, a high degree of personal liberty and the rule of law than in a democracy without (or less of) those things. 

Financial markets, transparent or not, don't really have anything to to do with 'democracy' per se.

The Founding Fathers emphisized liberty over democracy for a reason. Right now it seems like we have less and less of the former and more than ever of the later.

lynnybee's picture

Bingo !  .... thank you for saying that !

onlooker's picture

Several happy bookmarks to start the New Year. I don’t know if this is an accurate statement or fools play, but for me it appears to be a sort of Rosetta Stone. At the very least it is an educational tool of excellent value to me. Spot on, dialed in, on song.

TruthInSunshine's picture


I wanted to get this is in early in a new thread:

What do ZHers and others of similar analytical tendencies do to get in contact with each other in the event ZH and other sites are down (pick from a plethora for possible reason why that could or would happen, from accidental, to intentional)?

Bolweevil's picture

I asked the same thing on the Thanksgiving open thread, no responses.

BearishFeijoadaSushi's picture

I liked the ilustration under the 'Dagong' term

red2893's picture

Good Lord can we please stop associating democracy with everything that is fair and good?   (could not of said it any better hahaha)

Ned Zeppelin's picture

Learning to crawl, then walk, the global free collective consciousness in the internet grows tiny step by tiny step.