Nassim Nicholas Taleb addresses some very important issues in an interview with CNBC. On my blog I have written more than a few posts on this brilliant thinker. His book, The Black Swan, is the single most important book that I read last year, followed by Enough by
In this interview Taleb and Nouriel Roubini make some great points. The only problem is that the newscasters' questions and responses are glib and idiotic. It's as if they want to tag team and simply hear themselves speak, repeating "witty" dimwit ditties. Jon Stewart would have been a more astute interviewer.
Taleb and Roubini make their points nonetheless here and to the likes of Bill Gates and Michael Dell at Davos -- perhaps Arianna too?
Here are some of Taleb's highlights:
*Those who did not see the crisis coming in government should be out of there.
*Those responsible should not only be punished but removed from office.
*Bernanke did not see the risk coming.
*Bernanke should not be the Fed Chairman.
*Bankers who got us here are still around and we're giving them more money.
*Unless we do something drastic we are not going to pull out of this.
*The responsible people, need only be punished, but out of there.
*The dependence on debt needs to be eliminated.
*You cannot trust someone making a bonus and handling risks.
*Society pays for this risk. This can't be.
*We need to de-leverage massively.
*Build robustness by eliminating debt.
*Change the culture, maybe change the system too.
*This class of people, i.e., Geithner et al., can't manage this problem.
*Geithner et al. have failed before and they will fail again.
Yesterday on Larry King Live Arianna Huffington made some brilliant points, including "liquidity is not the problem but solvency is." She also called for the removal of Geithner and Summers. Considering Geithner was the President of the New York Federal Reserve, Larry Summers was President Clinton's last Treasury Secretary and Ben Bernanke was a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, this may be best. It was believed that these gentlemen could best address the financial problem because of their experience -- maybe not.
Taleb, Roubini and Huffington are probably right. Geithner, Summers, Bernanke et al. should go. And while we're at it, Senators Chris Dodd (D) and Richard Shelby (R) as the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs should go too. Maybe Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Nouriel Roubini should be advising President Obama.