The article has him saying that a Euro crisis would be no big deal, and it includes phrases like this.
“When they break it up, there will be a lot of fun currencies. This is why I am not afraid of Europe, or investing in Europe. I’m afraid of the United States.”
“Of course Europe has its problems, but it’s in much better shape than the United States,”
“The best thing Europe ever did is managing to have members bickering with each other, so you don’t have the big government,”
“Europe is like someone who is ill but is conscious of it. In the United States we are ill, but we don’t know it. We don’t talk about it.”
So why is Taleb so furious?
Basically he says he wasn’t giving investment advice at all, and that he was giving an hour-long lecture on anti-fragility and risk, and that he was making a long-term structural call based on the fact that Europe was moving towards decentralization (which in his book is good), even if in the meantime they have to break a few eggs.
He insists the lecture had nothing to do with investment advice, and that it was just a discussion of structure.
The line about “fun” currencies, he says, was a joke.
Here are some quotes from our call with him.
“It’s very simple I was giving a lecture on risk management.”
“Two problems in the long run of risk.” The first problem is deficits. The second one is centralization.
“I’m making a broader long-term call”
“I’m making a long-term risk management call.”
“I was massively angry”
“I spoke for an hour on methods of my risk heuristics.”
“And these f*cks, all they did, and take out of context comments on investment
“They’re going in the right direction, but they’re going to break some eggs.”
“This is not a market call, this is a structural call.”
Europe is decentralizing. The US is “Obamaizing”
“I was presenting my book on the idea of anti-fragility.”
“He turned me into an investment caller like all these,”
“They made it a caricature of what I said.”