Tuesday, August 26, 2008

NNT Interview in Portfolio

Lloyd Grove interviews Black Swan expert and Bottlerocketscience favorite Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the mortgage meltdown, the uselessness of "experts", fistfights and why ties are stupid.
N.N.T.: One second. [Stares intensely into his BlackBerry.] Before we met, I was trying to do something...

L.G.: Are you trying to execute a trade? Are you losing money?

N.N.T.: I have receipts, I have a business. I get a lot of income from my books in Europe. I just want to make sure that I'm not bothered by that drop [in the euro]. I sell three times more in the U.K. than here. It sold 178,000 copies—115,000 in the last three months. But I've got income coming from different places, and I set up contracts where I'm paid in local currency.

L.G.: And the dollar is advancing against the pound.

N.N.T.: Not good for me. But what I do is, I allocate a portion of it, I keep it in pounds in the U.K.—I'm in London every month—and a portion of it in euros that I spend there, and then the rest I've got to hedge it...Have you read this book called The 4-Hour Workweek?

L.G.: No.

N.N.T.: It's similar to these concepts. I try to avoid drag-down work, so when I write, I don't write more than an hour in any given day. When I've done an hour, I make sure I don't write more. And I make sure I don't work hard because when you work hard, you sort of dilute yourself.

No comments: