Monthly Archives: January 2010

Nassim N. Taleb – Bio

Shared by JohnH

Want to book NNT for a talk? Here’s his listing at his agent’s page.

Nassim N. Taleb

Bestselling Author of The Black Swan, Trader, Philosopher, Expert on Risk and Uncertainty, and Flâneur

The world’s foremost thinker on
probability and uncertainty.


Nassim Nicholas Taleb has devoted his life to immersing himself in problems of luck, randomness, human error, probability, and the philosophy of knowledge. He transformed his interests into three successful careers—as a man of letters, a businessman-trader-risk manager, and a university professor.

Although he spends most of his time as a flâneur, meditating in cafés across the planet, he is currently Distinguished Professor at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute and Principal of Universa Investments LP.

His books, Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan have been published in 31 languages with more than 3 million copies in print. The Black Swan idea is currently inspiring research papers in philosophy, statistics, psychology, economics, medical research, epidemiology, political science, and engineering.

  • Taleb specializes in uncertainty and errors in human knowledge, teaching us how to deal with unpredictability.
  • He is one of the few people who can both walk the walk and talk the talk. He both predicted the economic crisis and made a personal fortune out of it.
  • He specializes in making a living out of human’s misunderstanding of uncertainty.
  • A polymath, he taught in fields so far apart as the psychology of uncertainty and human error, and the mathematics of finance.

Upcoming Issue of ai5000: Black Swan Author Nassim Taleb Lists Bernanke's Six Problems — STAMFORD, Conn., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ —

“He did not see a truck coming right at him”

STAMFORD, Conn., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ — In the fourth issue of ai5000, set to publish in February, Black Swan author Nassim Taleb presents a list of six problems that encumber Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke:

1. His education is in tools that aren’t helpful – and he doesn’t know it.

2. He studied the Great Depression, but the current economic environment is not comparable.

3. Bernanke doesn’t recognize that 99% of risk is tied to debt/leverage and the explosion of connectivity. It’s like he did not see a truck coming right at him.

4. He has no notion of nonlinearities, and how monetary policies can be responsive in non-linear ways.

5. He doesn’t understand fat tails.

6. He doesn’t realize that the biggest risk of failure is signified by the Federal Reserve. We do not need more regulation. We actually need smaller institutions.

In an interview with ai5000 editor Kip McDaniel, Taleb also says that investors need to understand the value of doing nothing with their money. “It’s like smokers,” he explains. “The best thing you can do for a smoker’s health is to tell him not to smoke. And what has been the best investment over the past ten years? Cash and short-term bonds.”

Available only online, ai5000 ( focuses on the world’s 5,000 largest owners of capital.

About ai5000

A quarterly online publication, ai5000 focuses on the 5,000 largest pools of capital in the world, across pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, insurance funds and other leading institutional investors. ai5000 is edited by Kip McDaniel and was established by Charles Ruffel, founder of Asset International and PLANSPONSOR, PLANADVISOR and Global Custodian.