At the The Deloitte Innovation Growth Track program in January 2011 employees were given the opportunity to ask Nassim Taleb some questions. The program in the Netherlands, covered eight sessions on different topics with speakers specialising in these themes.
1) ‘If Black Swans happen more today than we think, why is man so poorly adapted to rare and improbable events?’
2) ‘What has been the largest Golden Swan in 2010?’
3) ‘How can we assist out clients in identifying their own Black Swans?’
Michael Elliot interviews Nassim for TIME Magazine back in December 2010 for the release of his book The Bed of Procrustes.
Questions: You’re a trader and a very successful one, do you think the sensationalized stock-market programming offered by the likes of CNBC and others has affected investor behaviour and market efficiency? (Toby Whitby, Houston) You warned us about the financial crisis, and your prediction was right. Can you foresee any other crisis that will happen in the near future? (John Hughes, Woodinville, Wash) Black-swan events are generally extreme outliers. Is it possible to profit
Taleb tries to inform a group of economically ignorant legislators. Congress is completely clueless in regards to simple concepts such as “risk”. Taleb mentions that our society is “over-financialized” because debt to GDP has grown to unsustainable levels and that our children and grandchildren will be punished for the foolish risks that government has taken with deficit spending, drastically increasing public debt, and central
Nassim was the feature speaker at ai5000’s Chief Investment Officer Summit in New York (May 2010). The summit had more than $1 trillion in pension, endowment, foundation, and insurance fund assets under management represented at the event. The following videos are from a Q&A with him (before) the event.
The most important issues for Chief Investment Officers (CIOs)
Summary Be over insured, have as low leverage as you can. Change your way of thinking by adopting at your core a defensive strategy. Don’t be
Presenter: Show of hands, who thinks this will be repeated? Why is that?
Nassim Taleb: Can I tell you what’s happening? This happened in the past, it keeps repeating itself. We keep bailing them out. The only way this will not be repeated this if you have punishment. The only place in which you had punishment is here switzerland, they went back and clawed back the bonuses. Until we do that we will always live under moral hazard from banks.
Presenter: So the leaders who were in charge taking on that risk, selling
Nassim Taleb & Benoit Mandelbrot on PBS Newshour talk about the current ecology of the financial industry during 2008 Financial Crisis (Air date October 21, 2008).
Transcript available here: Top Theorists Examine Rippling Economic TurbulenceAs the financial sector shifts, so does the reach of the jolt to economic structures around the world. Economist Nassim Nicholas Taleb and his mentor, mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, speak with Paul Solman about chain reactions and predicting the financial crisis.
A peculiar video on YouTube titled “Nassim Nicholas Taleb” and only coming with the vague description: “Tips on life from a man who’s done a lot of thinking and knows a lot of people.” It is not clear who this video is from, possibly Nassim himself but unlikely, probably more likely a friend/acquaintance. As he describes at the start it is filmed at Heathrow Airport Terminal, a place he often criticises for being terribly designed and over optimized, the planners obviously having no appreciation of the non-linear effects of congestion.