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Skin in the Game

Former derivatives trader turned philosophical essayist,Nassim Nicholas Taleb, joins us to talk about his new book, ‘Skin in the Game,” about the role risk and reward plays not only in politics but also our daily lives.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb spent twenty-one years as a derivatives trader before changing careers to become a scholar, mathematical researcher and philosophical essayist. Mr. Taleb’s works focuses on mathematical, philosophical, and practical problems with risk and probability, as well as on the properties of systems that can handle disorder.  He is the author of many essays and books about risk and uncertainty including the New York Times bestselling The Black Swan and his latest Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life”.

“What you had historically is warmongers were warriors. And he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword… Now suddenly – and that’s only recent – we developed all these weapons and technologies and stuff like that, so you can have people cause wars and not be exposed.  And not only that, but as was Bill Kristol… he’s a prime example. The people who caused the war in Iraq… absolutely no cost to them. Or a cost that’s very small, very tiny reputational cost… And then after they cause a war in Iraq – and of course we have a disaster – they will intervene again… in Libya and of course in Syria. What happens with these people is that given that there is no skin in the game, there’s no learning… In the real world, these people should be dead, because basically, if you cause a disaster… so many of them would be… pruned out that way instead of letting others die.” Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life

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