Sunday, September 26, 2010

The great sage Taleb speaks

U.S. President Barack Obama and his administration weakened the country’s economy by seeking to foster growth instead of paying down the federal debt, said Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of “The Black Swan.”

“Obama did exactly the opposite of what should have been done,” Taleb said yesterday in Montreal in a speech as part of Canada’s Salon Speakers series. “He surrounded himself with people who exacerbated the problem. You have a person who has cancer and instead of removing the cancer, you give him tranquilizers. When you give tranquilizers to a cancer patient, they feel better but the cancer gets worse.”

Today, Taleb said, “total debt is higher than it was in 2008 and unemployment is worse.”
Taleb's two masterpieces, Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets and The Black Swan are newly-minted classics that should be read by the hyper-rationalists who occupy the White House, the crowd that believes it can master uncertainty and impose its will on economic actors.

No comments: