Nassim Taleb is going to open The Big Picture Conference: Capitalism After Crisis with his vision of what went wrong with the financial system and what needs to be done to create a new one that is no longer fragile and subject to the kind of shock we’re still living through.

Capitalism 2.0: Building a Robust Economic System will outline Taleb’s vision of why the highly efficient world financial system is already a form of leverage that makes debt leverage for speculation so dangerous.

To join Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan, and gain his insight into the future of the world economy and the role of markets within it, register for the The Big Picture Conference here.


The Big Picture Conference: Capitalism after Crisis
A look at Banking, Hedge Funds, and Media during the Recession…and Beyond
June 3, 2009 – New York Athletic Club

Limited Space Available, Register Now

Category: Bailouts, Markets, Mathematics

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

21 Responses to “Nassim Taleb’s Keynote at The Big Picture Conference”

  1. Dennis says:

    He’s a no holds barred critic of Wall Street

    I’d love to see him let loose in person

  2. usphoenix says:

    The market is doing it’s usual “trying to drift down” thing. Will be interesting to see if PPT shows up yet again.

  3. call me ahab says:


    i hear that- it would seem that to make things look natural- assuming the “fix” is in- you would have to have some down days w/ up days so as not to raise eyebrows

  4. bman says:

    Ok now I’m worried Bernanke said the economy is stabilizing. I don’t believe anything he says. He spent his whole carreer studying the great depression, I think he secretly wants to relive it…

  5. Super-Anon says:

    Not a believable sell off today (especially considering the VIX) but I have a hard time going long…

  6. JohnDoe says:

    For those of us that don’t have the money/can’t make it there, but would still like to see this, could we get a video posting afterwards?


    BR: I am exploring that.

    The hosting is only part of the problem — tis the full audio/video squad shoot.

    I think we can do that . . .

  7. cvienne says:

    Think about it…

    Mixing POLITICS and ECONOMICS is like mixing POLITICS and WARFARE…

    Sun Tzu’s epic work “The Art of War” basically predefines ANY outcome when political interests get themselves with military objectives…

    The market (given the opportunity to exist in its pure form), will default to the most efficient means to achieve the desired objective (sometimes that means “conceding” a battle that serves no ultimate purpose)…

    In the present environment, there is ZERO farsighted will to adopt that strategy…

    It is all too obvious that THAT is the point that we’ve reached…Whether you’re talking about Bernanke, Geithner, Summers, Obama, Congress as a collective entity, Wall St. self interest, populism, whatever…At this point in history it seems that there is little resolve to “suck it up” and focus on the objective…

    Sun Tzu would be appalled…In the end, he’ll be right and we’ll be wrong…The only thing to decide will be the timetable…

  8. cvienne says:


    So the market…these days…doesn’t seem interested in whose going to win the WAR…It seems more interested in whose going to win the individual ‘skirmishes’ of the irrelevant battles…

    But if it weren’t this way, the GS boys would have NO REASON TO EXIST…So…GS boys…enjoy yourselves being captains of irrelevance (and keep convincing yourselves that you ARE actually relevant in the grander picture)…

  9. Publius says:

    Taleb is spoke at the Center for Applied Probability:

    Speaker: Nassim Taleb, New York University-Polytechnic Institute and Universa Investments


    The paper presents evidence that econometric techniques based on variance-L2 norm are flawed –and do not replicate. The result is un-computability of role of tail events. The paper proposes a methodology to calibrate decisions to the degree (and computability) of forecast error. It classifies decision payoffs in two types: simple payoffs (true/false or binary) and complex (higher moments); and randomness into type-1 (thin tails) and type-2 (true fat tails) and shows the errors for the estimation of small probability payoffs for type 2 randomness. The Fourth Quadrant is where payoffs are complex with type-2 randomness. We propose solutions to mitigate the effect of the Fourth Quadrant based on the nature of complex systems.

  10. Urkel says:

    “But if it weren’t this way, the GS boys would have NO REASON TO EXIST…So…GS boys…enjoy yourselves being captains of irrelevance (and keep convincing yourselves that you ARE actually relevant in the grander picture)…”

    So what if one is “relevant”??? It’s all about getting paid.

  11. CNBC Sucks says:

    Ritholtz, I love your blog and my fellow regulars, and I think you will have a fabulous, worthwhile event, and I am Nassim Taleb’s No. 1 fan, but I have come to the conclusion that everyone would be better off NOT attending your event and instead just watch a full day of CNBC and force themselves to believe everything that is said on that network. I think people would just be better off swallowing all the lies and feel-good propaganda spouted off on CNBC, and not pay attention to how the can of economic worms was kicked down the road and how we still have huge debts and deficits and how rotten and dangerous our financial and economic system remains. It is time to stop thinking, and I am afraid your conference will be too full of thinkers.

    Day after day, I see you make the effort to publish thoughtful posts and guys like Mannwich, leftback, and Mark E. Hoffer using their brains to try to explain why this is fouled up or why that is fouled up. But your collective brains are no match for the money printing capability of the US Treasury to eradicate reality and buy on credit an unstoppable, empty, jobless recovery and bull market. Stephen Colbert once said that reality has a left-wing bias, but I say money printing has a right-wing bias, and in this country, money printing trumps reality everytime…until the final time.

    I have noticed that this blog has one or two babes (karen and the other chick), while CNBC has lots of babes. If you remember high school, you know it never paid to be smart; now, think of economic life today as the dumb jocks having money printing machines.

    I bet your conference will be intellectual heaven but 90% male. Attendees will love your event but will wish they were dumber on the way home.

  12. call me ahab says:

    CNBC Sucks Says:

    “I bet your conference will be intellectual heaven but 90% male. Attendees will love your event but will wish they were dumber on the way home.”

    too funny

  13. cvienne says:

    @urkel…AMEN 2 that

  14. vv111y says:

    call me ahab Says:

    CNBC Sucks Says:

    “I bet your conference will be intellectual heaven but 90% male. Attendees will love your event but will wish they were dumber on the way home.”

    too funny

    too true :(

  15. wunsacon says:

    Congratulations on putting this together, Barry. Yes, your blog has for years been drawing visitors seeking good quality content and that, in context, one could consider this conference as a natural progression. Nevertheless, this seems to me to be a bit of a milestone. (And I like the company you keep…e.g., Taleb.)

    As you become more successful, you might appreciate these words on humility:

    “It’s easy to grin, when your ship comes in
    And you got the stock market beat.

    But a man who’s worthwhile
    Is a man who can smile
    When his shorts are too tight in the seat.”

    -Ted Knight

  16. moneyneversleepsblog says:

    congrats to Barry, sounds pretty cool.

    Now lets say that by some miracle (black swan?) that the economy actually bottoms in the next few months as some are predicting… how long before Taleb’s star fades??

    Hopefully Barry will post some blogs/video on the main event, it all sounds very interesting. Taleb is a great thinker, very sharp. And an update on the earlier prediction of 90% male turnout would be interesting as well… Have fun!

  17. Ace says:

    Barry, just upload the video to youtube or google video if you plan on posting it.

  18. Greg0658 says:

    I’d think the contractural agreements would change with video streaming but check out:
    if ya wanna go open source … I still haven’t looked into if a private function exists
    “DayTraderRockStar Show” “the-five-dollar-freak-show-live” “illinois-inaugural-gala” are interesting

    YouTube is limited to 8 minute segments / haven’t used Google video yet

  19. ckarcher says:

    For those of us who don’t live in NYC, having an event on Wednesday means loosing most of a week to attend. As much as I’d like to be there, the short notice and mid-week show make it too difficult. Perhaps for the next round you could hug a weekend.

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