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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Volcker's black swans

Paul Volcker:

The market was being run by mathematicians that didn’t know financial markets. And you keep hearing, you know, god, that event should only happen once every hundred years, according to my model. But those every hundred years events are coming along every two or three years, which should raise some questions.

Such questions were the subject of Nassim Nicholas Taleb's The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. I thought the book promised more than it delivered, and gave it a lukewarm review. But it has some interesting ideas about "when weird stuff happens" in financial markets.

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