Who Gets What When Tragedy Strikes

August 6th, 2012

When disaster strikes and loss happens, both human loss and economic loss, people look to be both assured first and then compensated.   The assurance is often the job of government, of social institutions and of friends, neighbors and family.   When people look to be compensated for a disaster, the process is often a lot more complicated. Who pays, what’s the loss worth and and how emotion enters into the economic algorithm are all relevant issues. Few understand this equation better than Kenneth Feinberg.

Feinberg ran the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, was the “Pay Czar,” for the TARP bailout and was in charge of disbursing all claims in the BP oil spill. He talks about all of this in his book Who Gets What: Fair Compensation after Tragedy and Financial Upheaval

My conversation with Ken Feinberg: