Roubini and Taleb: A Tale of Fat Tails

Posted by Nouriel Roubini Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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The latest from New York University professor Nouriel Roubini and Black Swan author Nassim Nicholas Taleb is that the risks of rare, “fat tail” events, with their associated financial costs, job losses, and income losses are, in modern times, getting much larger.  Two highlight quotes below

Roubini: The US today is having a budget deficit of $0.5 trillion this year, that’s 11 percent of US GDP, that’s not very far from the 13 percent of Greece. And the US is much bigger than Greece.

Taleb: The risks of debt are monstrous, and now we’re facing a future with even more debt. The only, you know, the only hope I had was that someone would do to us what the rest of the world, or Europe and the IMF, are doing to Greece. No democratically-elected government would take the right measure, would go through chemotherapy, would put its population through chemotherapy, which we need to do.

You can advance to the explanation of “Fat Tails” at the 2:14 mark.