In his latest iteration of "nobody knows nothing so let's ban everything," Taleb with one fell swoop wants to do away with the leveraged buyout, margin accounts and, with only a little interpretation, the market in general.
LBOs are "too close to Madoff" because "you rely on new investors to pay off the other ones," Taleb said. "The stock market has some mild Ponzi characteristics. We have to make sure that innocent people are not harmed by this Ponzi-attribute."
It seems pretty clear that the likes of Bloomberg are forever doomed to quote every snippet of Taleb's random musings no matter how intoxicant laden they may be, so we're almost tempted to give Taleb a pass on this one. Almost.
We're not sure if Taleb here means that the actual buyout is where "new investors" are paying off old investors (in which case he should object to all buyouts of whatever financial structure) or if he has some obscure "Ponziesque" connection to debt-financed buyouts in particular. Either way, we think the case is clear: Taleb's 15 minutes have been over for about six weeks.
Everyone is an idiot. We get it. Let's move on.
The fact that you've been saying for years that the big one was coming doesn't mean you predicted the big one there, big NNT. You predicted none of this other than, Nostradamus like, vaguely pointing out that crashes happen and one might "any day now" surprise us. We are not impressed. Your books make nice airplane reading on a long boring trip but once we get past "over-optimization" in network theory and "Gaussian distributions are limited," (which we got in the first month of stats class, thanks) their utility dropped to "looks smart with a little dust on it while sitting in my bookshelf" levels. At least your fellow Dr. Doom has the good grace to chase young women and throw parties for our amusement. What do you do anymore?
And as for "We're all Ponzi now," or "We're all Madoff now," we get that meme too. Even we decided to drop it months ago. Again, let's move on.
We're going to just say it: Taleb is Madoff-like. He's everywhere, his every move is reported on and he annoys everyone. Can someone just keep him away from mics and cameras for awhile? 'kthanksbye.
Taleb Calls Private Equity, Stock Market Ponzi-Like [Bloomberg]