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Swan Song

As Tim Geithner embarks on his campaign for confidence in China, it seems not everybody is so sure that Timmy G and the boys back in Washington have this whole running up massive debt levels and record fiscal deficit thing quite under control. Former Chinese central bank advisor Yu Yongding wants to check Geithner's homework to see if the numbers actually add up or if he is just looking at the answer key at the back of the book.
Among the objectives the Obama administration has claimed it will achieve is a reduction in the fiscal deficit from its current level of 12.9% of GDP to approximately 3%. In response to this laudable but lofty ambition, Yu wants to know if "Geithner can show us some arithmetic. We need to know how the U.S. government can achieve this objective." Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away, the His Black Swaness, Nassim Taleb, appears to have already done the arithmetic and is not so convinced of the new math the Treasury and Fed are using.

Universa Investments LP, which has links to "Black Swan" author and New York University professor Nassim Nicholas Taleb, is starting a hedge fund to bet that efforts by governments and central banks to end the global recession will lead to hyperinflation, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing Taleb. The fund will invest in commodities and options on oil and gold stocks, the Journal said.

So let's get ready to rumble- will defending champion Nassim Taleb (obviously wearing the black trunks) retain his title of being right at the expense of most of the free world or will up-and-comer Tim Geithner score an unexpected knockout blow? Only time will tell but conventional wisdom says always bet on black.


Nassim Taleb's Black Swans Earned Their Keep This Week

If you like numbers in the range of one billion.