Saturday, December 20, 2008

Nassim Taleb on Charlie Rose

For those of you interested in looking at history and economics in a broader scope, Nassim Taleb's book "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable" has been making its way around investing circles lately and generating a lot of praise. The book basically talks about how history is defined by the improbable events experts say won't happen, and about how those improbable events are actually quite likely to happen. I haven't read it yet, but I put it near the top of my own to-do list ever since I heard about it at one of the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meetings. It may have even been Buffett or Munger who recommended it. Now would be a particularly useful time to read this book given the improbable events happening now.

I bring this up because Nassim Taleb was on Charlie Rose the other day, and I'd highly recommend checking out his interview. The best part -- where Rose asks Taleb's thoughts on Nouriel Roubini's dire predictions for the world economies looking for disagreement and Taleb instead makes Rose's jaw drop by telling him he (Taleb) is even more pessimistic that Roubini. He sites a the example of a turkey at a slaughter house. Every day for his whole life, the turkey saw the farmer get up and feed him and give him care and fatten him. Every day reenforces his belief that everything is fine -- until slaughter day. Yikes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Darn. This video link no longer works, even directly on the Charlie Rose website. I'll look for a transcript.