All the risks of the regime fall presently to students and taxpayers. Not only is this unfair and morally questionable, but it leads directly to undesirable outcomes.
The result of safety improvements is not only fewer disasters, but also weirder disasters.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb is right – even the cleverest people can get probability wrong.
Why should the ministers and senior civil servants responsible for the ruin of nations be able to get away it?
When the media reports on a complicated issue, the truth can be horribly distorted – not so much through outright lies, but due to the journalistic practice of squeezing multi-layered facts into simple narratives. We’ve just had an excellent example in the case of the economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, whose historical and international […]
In the process of becoming rich, famous and outspoken, Nassim Nicholas Taleb – the best-selling author of The Black Swan – has accumulated enemies. With the publication of Taleb’s latest book, entitled Antifragility, his critics are out in force and putting the boot in. A prime example is a hostile review by David Runciman in […]
Those who compare the financial sector to the gambling industry show little understanding of either. Whereas casinos, bookies and the like carefully manage their level of exposure to potential loss, the banks have opened themselves right up to the most extreme of downside risks – the so-called ‘black swan’ events popularised by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. […]
The ancient Babylonians knew a thing or two about nudging. Or, at any rate, Hammurabi’s code – the first legal code in history – had a firm grasp of behavioural incentives: “If a builder builds a house for a man and does not make its construction firm, and the house which he has built collapses and […]
What happens when two atheists and two agnostics meet for lunch? When the folk in question are, respectively, John Gray, Alain de Botton, Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Bryan Appleyard, the answer is a very interesting conversation. Writing for the New Statesman, Bryan Appleyard provides a flavour: "The talk is genial, friendly and then, suddenly, intense when […]