Nassim Nicholas Taleb has devoted his life to problems of
uncertainty, probability, and knowledge. He spent nearly two
decades as a businessman and quantitative trader before becoming a
full-time philosophical essayist and academic researcher in 2006.
Although he spends most of his time in the intense seclusion of his
study, or as a flaneur meditating in cafes, he is currently
Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York
University's Polytechnic Institute. His main subject matter is
"decision making under opacity"-that is, a map and a protocol on
how we should live in a world we don't understand.
Taleb's books have been published in forty-one languages.
In this look at financial luck, hedge fund manager Taleb (Dynamic Hedging) addresses the apparently irrational movement of money markets around the world. Using his own investing experience and examples of others' successes and disappointments, he discusses theories like Monte Carlo math (easy; considered cheating by purists) and the concept of Russian roulette. Taleb tells interesting, well-wrought stories about individual behavior: "While Nero has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, both personally and intellectually, he is starting to consider himself as having missed a chance somewhere." While serious investors and mathematics enthusiasts will be intrigued, readers looking for practical investment strategies will be disappointed by this rambling intellectual discourse. Tables. 40,000-copy first printing; $150,000 marketing budget. (Oct. 30) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"[Taleb is] Wall Street's principal dissident. . . . [Fooled By
Randomness] is to conventional Wall Street wisdom approximately
what Martin Luther's ninety-nine theses were to the Catholic
-Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker
"Fascinating . . . Taleb will grab you."
-Peter L. Bernstein, author of Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk
"Recalls the best of scientist/essayists like Richard Dawkins . . . and Stephen Jay Gould."
-Michael Schrage, author of Serious Play
"We need a book like this . . . fun to read, refreshingly independent-minded."
-Robert J. Shiller, author of Irrational Exuberance