Nassim Taleb Accepts The Accolades Of An Adoring Public Only When He Deserves Them

Black swans fly in flocks, y'all.
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At some point, word reached Nassim Taleb at his remote, personally-rock-hewn fortress of solitude that people were crediting him with having made $1 billion on last week’s market turmoil. Of course, Taleb knew about the stock plunge. Not because his cave has CNBC, of course, but because he just knows these things. Now, had Nassim not gone into a personally-reflective retirement, he would certainly have made at least $10 billion where the mere mortals now under his guidance made $1 billion, but that is not the issue. The issue is fake “bureaucrato-journalistic talk” giving him credit for something he did not do. And so Taleb broke his strict regimen of lifting rocks and expanding his mind in bed to climb to the top of the highest mountain in his vicinity to let out a mighty Tweet, ensuring that the world gives credit where credit is due.

Who are these “other ppl”? To whom is the credit due? Well, to none other than Mark Spitznagel, who has used his free time in between herding goats in Detroit and his eventual appointment as President Rand Paul’s Treasury Secretary well, indeed.

Behind the options trades at Universa Investments that netted such a big payday early last week is trader Mark Spitznagel, the hedge-fund firm’s founder and chief investment officer….

“Markets aren’t naturally waiting to crater and hurt people,” Mr. Spitznagel said. “But central banks are the root of all evil in the market. Their effect is so hidden most of the time, now the unseen is becoming seen.”

Meet Mark Spitznagel, the Investor Behind Universa’s Big Gain [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]


Nassim Taleb Is On His Second Round Of Self-Imposed Quiet Time

Several years back, in response to the news that Ben Bernanke would be reappointed Fed Chairman, Nassim Nicholas Taleb made an announcement that he would be retreating from society. "What I am to much for me to bear," Taleb wrote. "I am not blaming Bernanke (he doesn't even know he doesn't understand how things work); it is the Senators appointing him who are totally irresponsible...I need to withdraw as immediately as possible into the Platonic quiet of my library, work on my next book, find solace in science and philosophy, and mull the next step...I will only (briefly) emerge from my hiatus when the publishers force me to do so upon the publication of the paperback edition of The Black Swan. Bye, Nassim." NNT reintroduced himself to the world at some point in 2010 or 2011 but now, apparently, he has once again decided to pick up his black swans and leave, as people getting in touch with him to star in their movie, blurb their book, or pick his large and intimidating brain recently learned. AUTOREPLY (Please ignore this message if you are a personal friend or engaged in an ongoing correspondence). Dear correspondent; I am currently disengaged from the rest of the world (until November 2012). I had to stop replying to emails outside of the strictly personal (friends, family, citizens of Amioun, etc.), except for extremely important/urgent matters. Please note that, except for emergencies & appointments, I reply to mails with an equivalent frequency to that of classical letters. (REQUESTS: Also note that 1) I no longer do media interviews (except those scheduled by publishers), 2) can no longer endorse books, 3) do not participate in documentary films, 4) will not give lectures in Asia, Australia, and other places entailing severe jetlag, etc.) I apologize for the inconvenience. Nassim Taleb Still Has the Most Nassim Taleb Auto-Reply Email Ever [NYO] Earlier: Nassim Taleb Swears He’s Done With This Place, Signs Off In A Huff– Who Should He Take With Him?

Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Got Bad News For His Legions Of Soccer Mom Fans

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.