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 »

As you may have heard, the Federal Reserve is now releasing transcripts of its FOMC meetings, in an effort to be open and honest with the public about what it is they do all day. Out this morning are the minutes from 2006’s get-togethers and one thing that stands out is how much fun these guys are having without us! In fact, they spent most of 2006 in stitches, as evidenced by the amount of material The Economist was able to compile under “comments from the Federal Open Market Committee meetings which resulted in laughter.” They’ve got their beard jokes (Mr. Poole: “Okay. Mr. Chairman, it is a great delight to see a 200 percent increase in the number of beards around this table. [Laughter]”), their penis innuendos (Chairman Bernanke: “Still pretty large. [Laughter]”), and their deep nerd humor (“Again, within the normal errors of Okun’s law—despite its name “law,” it’s a pretty loose empirical relationship [laughter]”). But the biggest laugh riot which still holds up today and unquestionably has Alan Greenspan pissing his pants in laughter as he reads it at home? Read more »

In a few short months, the next crop of college grads will enter the workforce and this year more than ever, many a bright young thing who would potentially be attracted to a job in the financial industry will be lured out West to a “name-brand organization” like Google or Facebook, that their parents’ friends will be easily impressed by and perhaps even believe is worth a trillion dollars. While Wall Street firms, even the mid-sized ones, can generally pay more up front, talent is being wooed by options, “the luster of working for the cutting-edge social-networking or Web-search firms,” better hours and other perks, forcing hedge funds et al to step up their games. Read more »

A Double Down challenge occurred last Friday at 1PM. Man on man (in this case, employee v intern), thirty minutes, as fast as they could get ‘em in there. Luckily I was long gone by then but I’ve been asked to post the results, for those of you considering going up against your younger, hungrier slaves. Read more »

peterorszagandhisladies.JPGWe’re a little bit late to this, because for the most part we don’t care about the love-lives of White House budget directors but whatevs: according the Post Peter Orszag has a “secret” love child, “secret” only because no one at the paper knew about the baby, and presumably not because he has the kid and the mother hiding out in some seedy part of town where no one can find them. Besides being pissed that they weren’t invited to the birth, the moral crusaders are also upset because there’s a possibility Pedro knocked up the mother, Claire Milonas, last spring, and then left her to shack up with ABC’s Bianna Golodryga, who he was engaged to six weeks after the baby was born.

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