Nouriel Roubini (Dr. Doom) and our favorite skeptical empiricist Nassim Taleb (The Black Swan) appeared on CNBC to discuss the current financial crisis.
Taleb makes a bold declaration: much of the causes of the crisis are still present: the same people who did not see the crisis coming are still in office. Roubini criticizes the actions taken to solve the problem–bailing out the bad institutions are not going to solve the problem.
Taleb also makes a crucial point about asymmetric payoffs: how bankers are compensated by taking unreasonable risks, which the journalists completely miss–and instead harp hopelessly on investment tips rather than absorb the deeper implication of what is being presented to them.
The reporters end by pinning the two down as “bears” in the face of the recently rising markets. If you can get past the interruptions of the journalists, the two pessimists actually have crucial insights to share. However, this clip is an example of how soundbite journalism takes the place of expert advice (watch how the CNBC anchors talk about Roubini and Taleb as “rockstars”).
For me, give this CNBC clip a capital ”F” for frustrating.