Search Results for: taleb

Taleb: The Risk Externalities of Too Big to Fail

December 17, 2009

Too Big to Fail” is a dilemma that has plagued economists, policy makers and the public at large. In Nassim Taleb’s lastest paper (with co-author Charles S. Tapiero) he takes a look. Abstract This paper examines the risk externalities stemming from the size of institutions. Assuming (conservatively) that a firm risk exposure is limited to […]

Survivorship Bias: The Tale of Forgotten Failures

December 02, 2019

Survivorship bias is a common logical error that distorts our understanding of the world. It happens when we assume that success tells the whole story and when we don’t adequately consider past failures. There are thousands, even tens of thousands of failures for every big success in the world. But stories of failure are not […]

The Best of Goethe’s Aphorisms

October 07, 2019

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s (1749–1832) Maxims and Reflections is a terrific source of philosophical wisdom. The German writer, statesman, lawyer, playwright, and polymath was brilliant at distilling complex questions and concepts into simple, reflective statements. His wisdom was derived from a life spent learning, thinking, and transmitting knowledge across a wide variety of fields. He crafted […]

The Best of Farnam Street 2018

December 30, 2018

We read for the same reasons we have conversations — to enrich our lives. Reading helps us to think, feel, and reflect — not only upon ourselves and others but upon our ideas, and our relationship with the world. Reading deepens our understanding and helps us live consciously. Of the 46 articles we published on FS this […]

Winner Takes it All: How Markets Favor the Few at the Expense of the Many

September 24, 2018

Markets tend to favor unequal distributions of market share and profits, with a few leaders emerging in any industry. Winner-take-all markets are hard to disrupt and suppress the entry of new players by locking in market share for leading players. *** In almost any market, crowds of competitors fight for business within their niche. But […]


September 02, 2018

2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 *** December The Power Broker Robert Caro’s masterpiece on New York political power between the 1920s and the 1960s, focuses on Robert Moses — the creator of institutions like the Parks Commission and the Bridge, Port, and Tunnel Authorities. Sound mundane? You’ll have to […]