Greek god. Philosopher. Adonis. The only person on earth who has earned the right to have an opinion about anything. All appropriate characterizations of one Nassim Nicholas Taleb, and the way at least three-quarters of all living homo sapiens have described NNT in their conversations with friends and in their diaries. And while his many admirers have surely studied him in great detail in the hopes of one day having the opportunity to unlock his heart or simply bask in his reflected glory for a moment or two, not everyone has a comprehensive list of the things that rev Taleb’s engine and, more importantly, that tick him off. Luckily, a recent profile by Chronicle writer Tom Bartlett has produced a near-complete guide to the likes and dislikes of Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Read it, print it out, carry it in your pocket– but really, consider taking the time to commit it to memory. Your chance may only come along once and you don’t want to fuck it up by fumbling around your notes because you can’t remember what his thoughts are on “bourgeois bohemian bonus earners” or fruit. Read more »
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Became The Chiseled Adonis You See Before You Through A Strict Regimen Of Picking Up Rocks And Lying In Bed For Two YearsBy Bess Levin
Have you ever gazed upon classical Greek philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb and thought to yourself, “That man has a body from the gods. I could never hope to match him in brains, but what about brawn? If only I could obtain the details of his diet and fitness regimen”? Well, friends, today is your lucky day. Despite still being on his second tour of self-imposed quiet time, Taleb granted several interviews to publications reviewing his new book, “Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder,” and, naturally, the topic of his physique came up, specifically the various ways he keeps it in such enviable shape. (He also touches on the exercises that led to him having a brain three times the size of the typical astrophysicist, though please note that these should be appreciated but not be attempted by average humans, who could hurt themselves quite badly.) Read more »
Earlier today, we discussed the upcoming bonus season and the fact that, for those who are employed by banks, it’s looking to be something of a disappointment. Numbers are estimated to be down 20-30 percent on average from last year, with fixed-income being hit the hardest. For many, it’s cause for some preemptive JO&C’ing at the desk this morning and some curling up into the fetal position this afternoon. According to Black Swan author Nassim Nicholas Taleb, however, you drying those eyes, picking yourself up off the floor and thanking your lucky stars you’re getting anything ’cause if he were in charge? You’d get no-thing. Read more »
At this point, Nassim N. Taleb has explained many times (1) what caused the financial crisis and (2) what will cause the next one. This is actually pretty simple stuff and as he’s sick of repeating it, we’ll summarize:
(1) the Nobel Prize Committee, and
(2) knowing things.
We learned the second part when Taleb dropped by the U.S. Congress last week to warn them away from the dangerous trap of setting up an Office of Financial Research to collect statistical data from banks and try to analyze it to reduce risk. Taleb’s prepared testimony included some polite objections to this plan:
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Though his schedule is extremely packed, Nassim Taleb, who knows everything there is to know about risk while Ben Bernanke knows nothing, has agreed to co-author a paper with the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets department “for the G-20 to develop ways to apply his method for identifying tail risks, or the chances of low probability, high-impact event.” Topics discussed will presumably include but not be limited to destroying the Nobel prize before it can destroy us.
And on an even more serious note, for which you should brace yourselves, Taleb has announced he will not be going to Davos this year. Why? Because he’s sick of the name dropping fame whores in attendance who don’t know anything about debt, like he does. Black Swan will be making better use of his time “at home with my fireplace and notebook and library,” where he will fix our economy while less serious people– NT hates to name names but “Rouriel Noubini” he mouths– will be in Switzerland banging economist groupies. Read more »
Over the last several years, people have been obsessed with determining who truly caused the financial crisis. Was it Alan Greenspan? Was it the banks? Was it the mortgage lenders? Evil short sellers? People who bought homes they couldn’t actually afford? Jimmy Cayne drug dealer? It’s up for debate and no one has yet to be unanimously, definitively blamed. Today in London, Nassim Taleb revealed the true villain, who’s been hiding in plain sight. Read more »