Thursday, December 23, 2010

More From Nassim Taleb

According to this recent CNBC article, Nassim Taleb thinks it makes no sense to be against big government but for big business.

He calls this "inconsistent and corrupt".  

From the article:

"They're both very bad, particularly big government. Big government ends up like socialist states," he said. "They end up favoring large corporations that have a lot of employees. That kills growth from small companies who cannot get to Washington, they cannot get lobbyists."

"The problem I have is that Republicans love big business and Democrats love big government, and I hate both big business and big government," he added.

Back in October he also had the following to say in this Bloomberg article:

...investors who lost money in the financial crisis should sue the Swedish Central Bank for awarding the Nobel Prize to economists whose theories he said brought down the global economy.

"I want to make the Nobel accountable," Taleb said today in an interview in London. "Citizens should sue if they lost their job or business owing to the breakdown in the financial system."

He also added the following about the 1990 Nobel award to Harry Markowitz, Merton Miller, and William Sharpe for work on portfolio theory and asset-pricing models. 

"I'm not blaming them for coming up with the idea, but I'm blaming the Nobel for giving them legitimacy. No one would have taken Markowitz seriously without the Nobel stamp."

Taleb thinks the models are built to substantially underestimate risks.

...and finally had this to say.

"If no one else sues them, I will," said Taleb, who declined to say where or on what basis a lawsuit could be brought.

Here's some other thoughts from Taleb over the past year or so:

I'm certainly no fan of those flawed theories. More importantly, my hope is for Taleb to continue offering his opinions, and making similar assertions, if for no other reason than the entertainment value.


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