Posted by: DrAlanRae | October 11, 2008

The Black Swan on Newsnight

Well that was a turn up for the book. I’ve just watched Nicholas Taleb jousting with a couple of economists on Newsnight.

Suddenly you start to see where this crisis is all coming from. The economists believe that there is a rational way out of this. Partly this is because they live in the “real” world and they know that the official channels – like politicians – have to pretend to be in charge.

Taleb is a trader. He KNOWS in every fibre of his being that the world in general and markets in particular are non rational and can end up in dead ends.

This means that you have to operate to minimise your downside risks so that if catastrophe occurs you’re not wiped out.

Which means not going with the herd, remaining cool and abandoning a non sustainable position in time.

Doesn’t go with evidence based seeking to be in control.

Which is why he looked a touch unhinged compared to the conventional wisdom of the economists.

However,  I know who my money would go on.

Fascinating.

If you haven’t read his books, The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness you really should. Even though it’s probably too late for this iteration

Alan

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