Nassim Taleb, the author of "The Black Swan", said he would retreat from public life if Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gains a second term at the helm of the central bank...I wonder if he'll turn out like the half of Hollywood that threatened* to leave America and never eat apple pie again if El Presidente Pasado was re-elected in 2004. He was, and yet they are still all over CNN's web site.
"I need to withdraw as immediately as possible into the Platonic tranquility of my library, work on my next book, find solace in science and philosophy, and mull the next step," he wrote, adding that "I will only (briefly) emerge from my hiatus when the publishers force me to do so upon the publication of the paperback edition of The Black Swan."
But even if the Senate does the unthinkable** what's the point of going away? Taleb wrote a book discussing how banks and financial companies are susceptible to failures from factors not accounted for by their financial models*** - called "black swans" - and that's a good part of what happened, and I might add, is happening again.
Now the guy second-most responsible for the current iteration of trouble, and wholly responsible for the next one, is about to get another four years to implement a federally funded black swan breeding program.
Is Taleb truly holding his own public presence hostage in a bid to force the Senate to do the right thing and send Bennie back to the clown college from whence he arose? Or is he really just afraid of how much writing he's going to have to do?
** perhaps it should be the "unthinking." This is the Senate after all.
*** Which are surely better than global-warming models, having been written by non-government programmers.