Nassim Taleb Says Coronavirus Pandemic is Not a 'Black Swan'
essayist, scholar, statistician, and former option trader and risk
analyst Nassim Nicholas Taleb has introduced in 2007 the definition of
the black swan, a theory considering difficult to predict and rare
events that have significant consequences.
In an interview
with Bloomberg, Taleb said that the coronavirus pandemic was
predictable, so it cannot be put on a par with the September 11 attacks
and be considered as a "black swan."
"We issued our warning that effectively you should kill it in the egg. If you can act very quickly," Taleb emphasized.
said that people simply ignored this warning — the exception was the
Donald Trump administration, which limited air traffic to China at an
early stage to the spread of coronavirus.
"[I am] so irritated that people would say it is a 'black swan'."
The real "black swan," according to Taleb, is the events of September 11th.
The coronavirus pandemic was predictable, which means it is a "white swan."
The "white swans" are financial crises that happen not spontaneously, but naturally.
Taleb stated, since the pandemic was predictable, businesses and
governments around the world have no excuses for such a low level of
preparation for the spread of the virus:
"They [governments] did not want to spend pennies in January. Now they are going to spend trillions."
to Taleb, the further course of events is unpredictable, so companies
should not rush and return their employees to work, even if the
authorities order them. He stressed that in the current situation, the
fate of employees should be decided by the heads of companies, not