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 (www.valueinvestorsclub.com, 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)