Nassim Taleb’s contribution to the world of finance are two fascinating concepts — essays really — subsequently expanded into book length. The first is Fooled By Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets, which describes the tendency of investors to find patterns where none exist, and to attribute to skill that which might be better credited to luck.
In one of his interview to Financial Times Taleb talks about how fragile we are. Five years on from the Lehman Brothers collapse, political and regulatory errors have made the world’s financial system even more fragile.This alarming line of thought comes from Nassim Nicholas Taleb, best known for The Black Swan, which explained markets’ difficulties in pricing extreme events for which they had no precedent.
He argues first that natural systems work by allowing things that do not work to break. This did not happen after the Lehman bankruptcy. True, letting Lehman fail was an attempt to instil discipline in the banking system, but it came too late. Continue reading