“I admire the move by the European Union to restrict the bonuses of that class of privileged civil servants called “bankers” — a recognition that the taxpayers have the right to control the income of those they subsidize and bail out, just as they set the salaries of other state-sponsored workers. Alas, bankers in their current status are an offense to capitalism; they are in a strange situation of having upside without downside, no skin in the game. As an additional insult to the taxpayer, bankers paid themselves the largest bonus pool of their history in 2010 — thanks to Troubled Asset Relief Program. If a banker wants to be free in his income, he should start his own hedge fund. Because hedge fund operators are invested in their funds; they typically have 50 times more risk as a share of their net worth than their largest customer.” [NYT]

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Comments (13)

  1. Posted by guest | January 23, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    Cue the "douche", "loser" comments…

  2. Posted by biglawinsecure | January 23, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    i for one am disappointing. He finally got a PR firm to throttle down on his funnier comments. The ole "I work out by lifting rocks over my head" or "I have the body of a 20 year old male model" or "the first thing I do when I go to a 3rd world country is to drink the water to toughen up my gut" were all so so great.

  3. Posted by KingShekel | January 23, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    I'm a big Taleb fan, so this was a good read. One of the core points to be admired in his books is that those who take risks with their own money/life on the line should be respected for their skin in the game.

  4. Posted by KennyPowersCFA | January 23, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    Wait I get to control the incomes of civil servants? Someone get DeBlasio on the horn.

  5. Posted by quant me maybe... | January 23, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    Actually he has a point.

    > Still a douche bag loser for organizing those creepy dissertation defense rehearsals for his grad students in the 'Love Tub'.

  6. Posted by biglawinsecure | January 23, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    I am pretty sure that was Nuriel Roubini? That guy always seems to want to fuck any NYU student that crosses his path. Taleb is much more into angry twitter battles with other dudes.

  7. Posted by Guest | January 23, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    Better to fuck an NYU student than a Columbia one.

  8. Posted by Really? | January 23, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    Those who build businesses that do productive things and create jobs should be respected for their skin the game. Those who run hedge funds and think they are not benefiting from the same subsidies as the banks … delivered by the banks to their clients via cash and synthetic leverage and by the Fed by one-direction asset price inflation … are delusional megalomaniacs

  9. Posted by Short, But Long | January 24, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    But not a Colombian one!

  10. Posted by Guest | January 24, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Get your shit straight bro.

    -Nouriel

    PS biglawinsecure; N"o"uriel

  11. Posted by Ted E. | January 24, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    For me, it's impossible to read "skin in the game" without hearing Nassim spitting out the phrase in my head.

  12. Posted by FCA Laws | January 25, 2014 at 2:41 AM

    FCA laws acts as an effective tool in the hands of the common citizens to keep check on the fraudulent claims.

  13. Posted by Yes, pretty much | January 26, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    No, they are not. Profiting from distortions caused by those subsidies is not equivalent to directly profiting from those subsidies. 2,000 hedge funds failed last year. How many were bailed out?