This is a site about risk: financial risk, catastrophe risk, and political risk. It is about how to manage risk, how to reduce it, how to transfer it and, ultimately, about finding the best legal and regulatory structures to deal with it.

Therefore, in a sense, the “storm” referred to in Out of the Storm News is both metaphorical and literal. It represents the very real risks of storms — and earthquakes and fires and mudslides and tornadoes — with which individuals, businesses and property owners must contend as they try to plan for the future. It also represents the regulatory strictures, taxes, subsidies, rent-seeking and both market and governmental inefficiencies that can cloud proper decision-making under conditions of uncertainty.

OOTS News, as we hope you will affectionately call us, is a web publication of The Heartland Institute’s Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate devoted to studying the intersection of public policy and financial services from a broadly free market perspective. Launched July 19, 2010, we offer a daily mix of news and analysis on the issues that shape the worlds of risk and regulation.

To invoke the ideas of economist George Stigler, the work that Heartland does in the FIRE realm involves “high complexity, low salience” issues. The issues we deal with are complicated and consequential but rarely the stuff of headlines. Our mission is to provide coverage of these issues in ways that will be interesting – perhaps even fascinating – to a wide audience of industry members and policy makers, as well as to a general readership that appreciates a smart and engaging take on these important subjects.

We hope you’ll enjoy reading OOTS News, and would love to hear from you.

Our Staff

R.J. Lehmann is deputy director of the Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (C-FIRE) and managing editor of Out of the Storm News. He manages all content for the site and also hosts our weekly podcast, the FIRE Podcast.

Eli Lehrer is vice president of D.C. operations for The Heartland Institute and national director of C-FIRE. He writes the weekly Letter from Washington for OOTS News as well as contributing other stories.

Matt Glans, C-FIRE’s midwest director, regularly contributes to the daily Out Of The FIRE blog.

C-FIRE’s Florida director, Christian R. Cámara, writes the Letter from Tallahassee, which appears every three weeks.

Julie Drenner is C-FIRE’s Texas director. She writes the Letter from Austin, which appears every three weeks.

Alan Smith is C-FIRE’s Ohio director a senior fellow for The Heartland Institute. He writes the Letter from Ohio, which appears every three weeks.

OOTS News works with experienced freelance writers. Please drop a line with story ideas.