Author of The Black Swan. Essayist, researcher and financial

United States of America


Nassim Nicholas Taleb spent 21 years as a risk taker (quantitative trader) before becoming a researcher in philosophical, mathematical and (mostly) practical problems with probability.

Taleb is the author of a multivolume essay, the Incerto (The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, and Antifragile) covering broad facets of uncertainty. It has been translated into 36 languages.

In addition to his trader life, Taleb has also written, as a backup of the Incerto, more than 50 scholarly papers in statistical physics, statistics, philosophy, ethics, economics, international affairs, and quantitative finance, all around the notion of risk and probability.

Taleb is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at NYU's Tandon School of Engineering (only a quarter time position) [and, finance related bio only: scientific advisor for Universa Investments]. His current focus is on the properties of systems that can handle disorder ("antifragile").

Taleb refuses all honors and anything that "turns knowledge into a spectator sport".

Taleb traveled the conventional route of education to real-life and theory to practice in inverse sequence from the common one, moving from the practical to the philosophical to the mathematical. He started as a trader, then got a doctorate in mid-trading career; he wrote literary books before writing technical papers, and his work became progressively more technical and formal with time.


 10:15 - 11:15 (04/10/2018)


(AUDITORIUM) Plenary Session 2: The logic of Risk Taking

Inspired on his latest book Skin in the Game, Nassim will present common mistakes in the treatment of risks and will propose counterintuitive measures such as:

1) Ruin is different from regular risks; variations and small risks are often good in a system, but ruin is not;

2)  Ruin is path dependent and does not lend itself to the treatment of cost-benefit analyses, counter to 120 years of discussions in risk theory;

3) Risk is to be measured in terms of reduction of life expectancy, which can be infinite for ecosystems;

4) Risk for the collective is a different animal;

5) Many systems require the irrationality of individuals to function properly;

6) Paranoia is almost always good;

7) Psychological experiments based on static one-shot behavior are uninformative;

8) Parting Wisdom: Our grandmothers know a lot more than psychologists of risk management.







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