Nassim Taleb on Fragility and Antifragility

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is, as my readers know, my favorite contemporary philosopher. He has come out with a new book, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder. Taleb wrote the book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, which was a revolutionary look at risk in the investment world. I [...]



“Can an economy that has become dependent on lies, misrepresentation, ‘fudging’ of numbers, fraud, embezzlement and a multitude of skimming and scamming operations escape the moral and financial black hole it has created ? The self-evident answer is ‘no’.”

— Charles Hugh Smith, 28 August 2012, as quoted in [...]


Why It is No Longer a Good Idea to Be in The Investment Industry

A spurious tail is the performance of a certain number of operators that is entirely caused by luck, what is  called the “lucky fool” in Taleb (2001). Because of winner-take-all-effects (from globalization), spurious performance increases with time and explodes under fat tails in  alarming proportions. An operator starting today, no matter [...]


The Austrians And The Swan: Birds of a Different Feather

This article was written by Mark Spitznagel, the founder, owner, and Chief Investment Officer of Universa Investments, LP, a $6 billion hedge fund located in Santa Monica, California. Mark is a student of Austrian economic theory and uses those ideas in his investment strategy. This paper originally appeared on Universa’s site [...]


Taleb On Why Everything Is Rotten And Why He Is Supporting Ron Paul

I’ve written before on Nassim Taleb’s support of Ron Paul, but this CNBC interview of Taleb today will knock your socks off:


Hat tip to Zero Hedge.



The Final Countdown

“Under the circumstances, discussions with Greece and the official sector are paused for reflection on the benefits of a voluntary approach.” Debt talks “have not produced a constructive response.”

—       The Institute of International Finance, January 13 2012.



Christmas Trees And The Logic Of Growth

By Mark Spitznagel. Mr. Spitznagel is the founder and chief investment officer of the hedge fund Universa Investments L.P., based in Santa Monica, Calif. This was originally published in the Wall Street Journal on December 22, 2011.

Central banks are creating a tinderbox by keeping alive many very bad investments.

The ubiquitous greenery of the season [...]


Extend And Pretend: The Story Of 666 Fifth Avenue

I receive data from Trepp who provides market information and ratings on commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS).1 

Trepp recently reported on a property in New York City, 666 Fifth Avenue (666?). It is an interesting tale of what happened in the real estate market before and after the crash. This is a 1.45 million square foot [...]


Taleb: It’s Worse Than 2008

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of one of my favorite books, The Black Swan, and closet Austrian theory economics student, is someone whom we should all listen to when he talks about economics. He said this at a conference in Ukraine:

… the current global market turmoil is worse than it was in 2008 because countries [...]


Taleb Shreds Bernanke

Nassim Taleb is out promoting his new book, The Bed of Procrustes, a collection of aphorisms about economics, coming out on November 30.

As readers know he is my favorite philosopher and guru of risk. He’s also a bit of a curmudgeon. He used to subscribe to this blog, but dropped out because, as his [...]


Nassim Taleb on Bloomberg

This is a recent interview with Nassim Nicholas Taleb on Bloomberg’s Inside Track. It is a good, informative interview. This was done in May, 2010.