The only man who has a clue about the Coronavirus Pandemic

Link to original article – Taleb: The Only Man Who Has A Clue

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Bloomberg: Nassim-Advised Universa Tail Fund Returned 3,600% in March

A tail-risk hedge fund advised by Nassim Taleb, author of “The Black Swan,” returned 3,612% in March, paying off massively for clients who invested in it as protection against a plunge in stock prices

The fund, managed by Universa Investments of Miami, had a year-to-date return of 4,144% through the end of last month, according to an investor letter from President and Chief Investment Officer Mark Spitznagel that was obtained by Bloomberg. He said Universa was able to cash in many of its positions, locking in the gains, while also keeping in place protection against more equity sell-offs, “one of the tricks of the trade.”.

Link to Bloomberg article: Nassim Taleb-Advised Universa Tail Fund Returned 3,600% in March

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Bloomberg: Portfolios to ‘Blow Up’ Without Tail Hedges

“The worst thing you can do with insurance is try to time it,” Taleb, a distinguished professor of risk engineering at New York University, said in an interview Monday on Bloomberg Television. “If you don’t have tail insurance, you don’t have a portfolio. Your portfolio is going to blow up.”

That’s a sobering reality check from someone who has long argued that instead of turning to the government for help in times of crisis, big investors and corporations should manage their own risks. His pleas for prudence were largely ignored, though, and most parts of the economy were ill-prepared for a sudden downturn when the coronavirus hit.

Link to Bloomberg article: Taleb Says Portfolios to ‘Blow Up’ Without Tail Hedges

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The book Statistical Consequences of Fat Tails: Real World Preasymptotics, Epistemology, and Applications is finally on Amazon

Cover of Nassim's book

The book Statistical Consequences of Fat Tails: Real World Preasymptotics, Epistemology, and Applications is finally on Amazon. Click Here.

PDF freely available here – Nassim Nicholas Taleb (2020). Statistical Consequences of Fat Tails: Real World Preasymptotics, Epistemology, and Applications. RESEARCHERS.ONE, https://www.researchers.one/article/2020-01-21.

[The Guardian] The UK’s coronavirus policy may sound scientific. It isn’t

Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Yaneer Bar-Yam

When, along with applied systems scientist Dr Joe Norman, we first reacted to coronavirus on 25 January with the publication of an academic note urging caution, the virus had reportedly infected fewer than 2,000 people worldwide and fewer than 60 people were dead. That number need not have been so high.

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/25/…cummings

[Medium] Corporate Socialism: The Government is Bailing Out Investors & Managers Not You

The U.S. government is enacting measures to save the airlines, Boeing, and similarly affected corporations. While we clearly insist that these companies must be saved, there may be ethical, economic, and structural problems associated with the details of the execution. As a matter of fact, if you study the history of bailouts, there will be.

Link: https://medium.com/incerto/corporate-socialism-the…3b31a67bff4a

Uncertainty, Certainty and what to do when there is Systemic Risk

Third conversation between Nassim Nicholas Taleb & Yaneer Bar-Yam about uncertainty, certainty and what to do when there is a systemic risk; what not to do when a truck is headed your way. How acting early would have cost less? They also discuss:

  • John Ioannidis recent post “we are making decisions without reliable data”
  • Why we should make decisions without reliable data & use precautionary principles
  • How the costs would be so much smaller if we would have acted earlier.

Jan 26 Coronavirus Paper (PDF) – Joseph Norman, Yaneer Bar-Yam, and Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Systemic risk of pandemic via novel pathogens – Coronavirus: A note, New England Complex Systems Institute (January 26, 2020).

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