14 abril 2020

Sem proteção para risco de cauda, a carteira de ativos explode

Nassim Taleb, the former options trader who predicted the 2008 financial crisis in his bestseller “The Black Swan,” said investors stung by the coronavirus crisis are paying the price for ignoring the risk of a predictable event.

Taleb also criticized the $2 trillion economic relief package signed into law last week as a bailout for investors and for companies that drained cash or levered up to buy back stock.

“The worst thing you can do with insurance is try to time it,” Taleb, a distinguished professor of risk engineering at New York University, said in an interview Monday on Bloomberg Television. “If you don’t have tail insurance, you don’t have a portfolio. Your portfolio is going to blow up.”


“The system favors the companies that spent their cash to buy their stock and furthermore borrow over those who had a cautious attitude,” he said in the interview. “We should bail out employees, we should bail out citizens, not the corporations who made these mistakes.”

What irks Taleb most of all is the suggestion that the virus pandemic is a “black swan” event, a statistical outlier so rare no one could have predicted or prevented it. His 2007 book of the same name flagged globalization as reason enough to anticipate a “very strange acute virus spreading throughout the planet.”

“We’ve had black swans -- Sept. 11 [2001] was definitely a black swan,” he said. “This was a white swan.”

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