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Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The danger of debt | The Sunday Times Post


But in this instance, the government came in indiscriminately to bail out everyone. So let’s zoom out seven years later – is it seven years already? – and look at what’s happened.

Well, what has happened is nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing new. We did not learn. We have had some kind of pseudo-recovery, mostly fuelled by an increase of debt. So the pool of debt has increased, and at low interest rates from the Fed, which don’t seem to be effective.

Now you have to realise that debt is only to be judged when you pay it back. Life should not be a Ponzi scheme which collapses when you have to pay it back. Is there an element of Ponzi in debt? Well, there’s some element that’s not Ponzi in debt – that’s small – and there’s a Ponzi element. So we didn’t learn much from the crisis. If we look at the narrative in 2009, it was healthier then.

But the efforts of governments in making things cosmetically look good now have been bad.What we didn’t learn from the crisis is that debt and leverage is bad, and we didn’t learn that economists are full of baloney. I have busted them mathematically. Between 2009 and now, I’ve published 45 technical papers, and I have ten more under review by journals. I have found arguments of theirs that are not valid empirically, but no one seems to care.

Source: Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The danger of debt

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