Nassim Taleb Accuses Trump of Incompetence and Denial

Mish

Nassim Taleb, author of best-selling 'Black Swan' comments on global leaders' responses to Covid.

Government Worldwide Incompetence

Please consider what the highly-respected author of 'Black Swan' has to say about Covid Incompetence and Denial.

Six Key Ideas

  1. I think this is a case study of government worldwide incompetence in dealing with a problem and denial,” said Taleb, whose bestselling 2007 book warned of highly improbable events and their potential for severe consequences. 
  2. Ten months into the pandemic, we still don’t have systematic testing when you board a plane or when you want to go to a restaurant or something,” said Taleb, formerly a professor of risk engineering at New York University. 
  3. If we had instant, systematic testing, we wouldn’t be here. We wouldn’t be talking now about the pandemic.”
  4. We don’t know what’s going to happen. Imagine this continuing until January, February, March because in the winter people are inside so contagion rates are higher,” Taleb said. “Think about what can happen. It’s not that rosy.”
  5. Taleb is a former derivatives trader and also a scientific advisor at Universa Investments, a hedge fund that earned a return of more than 4,000% in the first quarter. Universa uses a complicated risk mitigation strategy known as tail-risk hedging that positions the fund to profit from dramatic market corrections spurred by so-called black swan events. 
  6. You should realize you have more uncertainty ahead now than you think. The returns can be a lot better or a lot worse than you think,” Taleb said, though he refused to comment on returns directly. “There’s a tendency of people to underestimate that uncertainty is chronic.”

In a video interview (click on preceding link to play) Taleb had this key thought that was not in the article.

"We still spend trillions of dollars worldwide on nuclear weapons when the risk is the virus. The solutions are not that complicated. So I think this is a case study in government worldwide incompetence and denial."

This is not just Trump, incompetence is everywhere you look.

 But Trump is the chief denier.

Mish

Comments (75)
No. 1-20
Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

Hopefully the Chicoms will hire him to shut down everything over there.

Doug78
Doug78

Did he say something that isn't banal?

FactsonJoe
FactsonJoe

UK, France and Spain and Belgium did massive shutdowns/lockdowns and destroyed their economies and after the lockdowns were lifted infection rates are spiking higher faster than in USA on per capita terms.

Countries which were recommended as models like Czech Republic are in serious problems.

Trump has said many optimistic hyberbolic statements about coronavirus but the current situation in USA is NOT worse than in Europe in many European countries.

Now UK, France etc. are again doing lockdowns again and destroying their economies further and Spain has everything closed from 10 PM in the whole country and closing parts of Madrid completely in lockdown.

All the while Sweden is muddling through having never done a lockdown and streets in Sweden are throbbing of people and they go out normally with just every other seat just kept empty to lover the spread of coronavirus.

USA should have followed the Swedish model...

FactsonJoe
FactsonJoe

Joe Biden wants to lockdown whole of USA if an "expert" recommends it to him and Fauci who originally said people do NOT need to use masks and told people to go on a cruise has said that USA should be shutdown until end of winter so vote for Joe Biden is a vote for more FAILED lockdown policies that have failed in USA and that have failed in Europe.

Lockdowns just transferred the infection to the winter when without lockdowns they would have been gone through in the summer and closing schools and closure of colleges and limits on bars and restaurants just prevented the herd immunity level firebreaks from being formed among the part of population who is not in large danger from Covid namely under 50 year olds.

The over 70 years should have been protected since for them the death rate from Covid is over 5% so 94%+ survive and for 50-70 year olds things should have been left under their own consideration and decision since 99% survive but with masks recommended and under 50 year olds should have been encouraged to live as before with just hand-washing.

The school closures were the stupidest decision in Covid pandemic.
Many children have fallen badly behind and many will fall further behind if there are more school shutdowns.

The 2nd most stupidest decision was Federal government paying all the Covid patients treatments if they died from covid and then giving extra +20% on top of that like passed in the Cares act.

If a person dies from renal failure or cancer the hospital haggles the price of his treatment with the health insurance company and gets paid less than they want but if that same person has Covid in the death certificate then Federal government pays what the hospital wants and then Federal government pays extra +20% on top of that.

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that once hospitals saw most of their routine operations being postponed due to Covid those hospitals were hurting for money and the temptation to mark as Covid deaths people of whom just 6% died from Covid and the rest 94% had on average 2.6 comorbidities per CDC stats became quite large.

Now tens of millions of people are depressed and saw no hope due to being fired and laid off and bankrupted as a business and due to media scaremongering about Covid people are so desperate that suicides are spiking all over Europe and in USA and drug OD's and use are through the roof and the same for alcoholism and violence inside families is also spiking.

It is absolute appalling how media and Democrats have treated HCQ despite there being data since July 2nd from Henry Ford Hospitals that shows it dropped death rates over -50% if given immediately after admission to people who have so bad case of Covid they need hospitalization and the recommendation to stay home until the symptoms worsen was a literal death sentence for many people who could have gotten HCQ from their own physician through a telemedicine prescription if that would have been pushed as a solution and almost 150 studies collected in one site show that death rates are -89% lower in countries where HCQ is widely available and is prescribed early.

Henry Ford Hospitals study:

Site listing 150 studies on HCQ and Covid:

The way media attacked Trump and how Democrats POLITICIZED the issue of HCQ when Trump recommended HCQ will be written as examples in history what partisan hate filled political games only interested in political power can cause.

Furthermore the lockdowns in Democrat controlled states likely worsened deaths too because studies have shown that people with D-vitamin deficiency are 60% more likely to catch Covid and 52% more likely to die from that and people's D-vitamin levels were low after the winter and the lockdowns worsened and prolonged this situation when people were at home and NOT getting sunlight and Democrat Governors closed beaches all over USA.

Why is there still no recommendation to take 1 pill of D-vitamin supplement per day?

People who have enough D-vitamin are 52% less likely to die from Covid:

People who have enough D-vitamin are 60% less likely to catch Covid:

8 in 10 Covid hospital patients have a D-vitamin deficiency:

Meanwhile Fauci is championing Remdesivir at 3000+ dollars a dose despite studies showing that Remdesivir provides NO BENEFIT in death rates and at the same time Fauci is SILENT on D-vitamin which lowers likelihood of getting Covid infection massively and which lowers risk of death from Covid massively and toward HCQ Fauci has been ANTI-SCIENCE based on examples I posted above.

EGW
EGW

The last thing we need is more restrictions on our freedom. I think the covid response has metastasized into one where the "cure" is worse than the disease.

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

Mish, what is the going exchange rate between bricks and sheets of plywood in the big cities? The former are (once again) appearing mysteriously on street corners, the latter can’t be had at lumber yards. Folks out your way are known to be well-provisioned and prepared, right? Maybe you can make a killing on an arbitrage deal.

mishDyno
mishDyno

After I read his books, I always remember hating his arrogant "I'm smarter than everyone else" mentality. Plus he is not that great a trader, that is unless you ask him. His striving for the occasional out sized return can be effective, but serves more a a public crutch for his huge draw-downs and steady bad performance. Sometimes it's harder to stay solvent until the lighting strikes you.

mkestrel
mkestrel

What is Taleb's qualification to make this claim? From Wikipedia "essayist, scholar, mathematical statistician, and former option trader and risk analyst, whose work concerns problems of randomness, probability, and uncertainty." Nothing, another armchair quarterback who used a crisis to write a book.

Anda
Anda

If he labelled Trump directly I missed it.

I guess most politicians nowadays prefer you not see their lips moving, for our own good no doubt because the lies had become intolerable as to witness directly.

The incompetence mentioned is a feature not a mistake, Taleb would know how plausible deniability works which would be why he is not able to directly accuse anyone further.

Intelligentyetdiot
Intelligentyetdiot

Taleb is a fraud: All his Black Swan theory is plagiarized from Bertrand Russell .
"...A chicken which experiences every day that it gets fed when the farmer’s wife comes over to the chicken run will finally come to the conclusion that there is a causal link between the approach of the farmer’s wife and feed being put into its bowl.” “But one day the chicken doesn’t get its food?” “No, one day the farmer’s wife comes over and wrings the chicken’s neck...”

Realist
Realist

The US is not doing very well with the pandemic.

Worldometer numbers for US

New cases: deaths

Oct 20 T 62,478:952

Oct 21 W 64,067:1224

Oct 22 Th 74,446:973

Oct 23 F 81,414:903

Oct 24 S 80,246:787

Oct 25 S 63,510:442

Oct 26 M 69,844:529

Oct 27 T 75,980:1055

Oct 28 W 81,585:1030

Oct 29 T 91,829:1041

Oct 30 F 101,461:987

Oct 31 S 86,293:914

Nov 1 S 71,321:399

Nov 2 M 88,905:522 (so far today)

As hospitals begin to fill their icu beds again, the numbers are going to get much worse.

Mish
Mish

Editor

I had a denial of service attack and had to turn off comments for a while

Mish
Mish

Editor

@TimeToTest "Mish has lost rational thought. He has been overcome with emotion. It’s easy to see when people overlook all the good and just focus on the bad. His number one reason for voting for Trump the first time was ——-no more wars. How easy we forget. A vote for Biden is a vote for war. Pretty simple."

I will let that slide precisely once.

  1. I am not for Biden and you know it.
  2. I am for the only genuinely anti-war person running and you know that too.
  3. Trump started a war with Iran and I discussed that twice.

One more asinine comment like that will be your last.

If I was ZH, you would be gone already.

Mish
Mish

Editor

FactsOn Joe , Trump is the biggest Remdesivir supporter.

Trump is buddies with Gilead.

FactsOnJoe's claim about payment for Covid death is fake new.

I am tired of correcting unfounded allegations. Please check your facts or I will just start deleting your comments.

Jackula
Jackula

Nassim Taleb is no dummy. I agree there has been a world leadership vacuum but a pretty good sized chunk of countries have done an excellent job of containing the virus. I agree and think it is criminal that there is not wide availability of rapid, accurate, inexpensive testing. Some of FactOnJoe's claims have some basis, the western leadership and big pharma do not seem to be very interested in educating folks on using vitamin D nor promoting real research on inexpensive relatively safe antivirals and other possibilities, of which there are many. It is a sad state of affairs when my friends and family have to call me for medical advice on how to handle their Covid infections. Being very afraid their covid case could develop into a bad one that could bankrupt their family and kill them. So far lots of success and no hospitalizations but its anecdotal. To all of us here in the US, here's hoping for a peaceful election.

ROGO1
ROGO1

Nassim Taleb is right on point and a Trump win will initiate the downfall of U.S. global leadership & most certainly digital assets will make rejection of USD inevitable!..A Biden win may or may not restore leadership of global civilized decorum our founding fathers had in mind, Biden is no doubt the only option to Trumps dark karma & failed U.S. & Europe leadership of Covid -19 Trump may win over gun toting rednecks and thugs living in self centered denial ripping the moral fabric of our country, However true patriots believe the POTUS should serve & protect all Americans and set the example for the rest the civilized world!..Trump is the worst example of a true leader & he is responsible for more U.S. deaths due to not mandating masks at the start than any soldier that ever fought against the United States!..Biden wins or we are all in deep shit!..

bolto
bolto

So many experts love to share their criticism when they themselves are also clueless about how to handle a pandemic. My proof? Because none of them have that in their resume. I mean it's sad enough that Biden pretends that he can do better than Trump on Covid-19, it's just horseshit because he has not done it. Sure he may say that he will work with scientists, but which one of them have handled a pandemic like this one? US is too big a country that lock down does not make sense and lets not forget why there was a shortage of masks initially - because Chinese bought all the masks in US and shipped them back to China very early on.

And this nonsense about decoupling is not possible. Too many other countries are capable, eager and already joining the supply chain, so lets just wait and see. If Chinese Communist Party wasn't so much in the way, all this would not have happened. Just because you have not suffered from CCP's influence it does not mean it is not there. And while you think US or other countries will never be a victim of CCP's expansionist strategies, there are also people who are rightly concerned what if it could happen.

danisssy
danisssy

I read the article and watched the video, and nowhere does Taleb accuse Trump of anything as Mish thinks its does - more Fake news. This once-interesting blog is barely worth reading - at least not any article about Trump.

I now look forward to getting banned for calling Mish out on his TDS, which will be another sign of his bias.

solvalo
solvalo

i read his books. big fan. but he should really stick to stats and philosophy.


Global Economics

FEATURED
COMMUNITY