Intrigued? Well, read on then.
Taleb was a Wall Street trader who made a fortune by betting that the financial world created by bankers and mathematicians would collapse. He was a prophet of doom and was ridiculed by his peers. Politicians did the same. Some even said that he should be sent to a lunatic asylum. Then came the Lehman Brothers collapse and the financial crash proper and Taleb became one of the most influential thinkers on the planet.
PM David Cameron communicates with him from time to time. Taleb for some reason seems to think that the British PM has more guts than US President Barack Obama. Dave has a vision but then all of us have a vision. What words of wisdom is Taleb sharing with the PM? His message is simple: listen to me and you can avoid another Black Swan. Ignore me and you will pay a heavy price.
Taleb believes in diversity and risk taking. Take the European Union: it is attempting to regulate the economies of its members until all diversity has been eliminated. In other words, a factory in Germany will operate just like a factory in Slovenia. Brussels sets the rules of competition and no state will be allowed to outsource work to a cheaper one. Eventually, all workers will be paid the same so there will be no point in migrating to achieve a better standard of living. The eurocrats in Brussels want to run the EU like a giant corporation. Anyone who steps out of line will be fined.
In short, risk taking is all but eliminated. Capital will be directed to the sectors of the economy favoured by the bigwigs at the centre. The eventual goal is a planned economy; a planned society; a planned culture; a planned history and so on. The embarrassing question of why there were so many wars between European states, especially involving Germany, will be downgraded to a non-question. Instead of examining the reasons for conflict, everyone should concentrate on building consensus.
Do you recognise where all this is going? Yes, it is a Marxist paradise. The profit motive and risk taking will be gradually phased out. The arrogant self-elected elite in Brussels imagine this will be the best of all worlds for every citizen of Europe. Taleb pours scorn on this construct. It will self-destruct. Why? Because when entrepreneurship is restricted, stagnation sets in. An economic system needs to evolve to prosper. Banks and businesses which fail should be allowed to go bankrupt. What happens at present? They are all bailed out. Printing money to bail out banks is fool’s gold.
Britain has been skilful in its relations with the EU. It is in the EU but is attempting to protect itself from the inevitable fallout. Should Britain leave the EU? ‘No’, says Taleb. It will eventually collapse under the weight of its own contradictions.
So is Mr Taleb right? Central control of the economy or any institution leads to inefficiency. A classic case is the National Health Service. A bureaucrat’s mistake in Whitehall can have deplorable consequences. It should be broken up and run on a city or regional basis. Then decision makers can be held accountable. A government minister who makes a mess of health is simply moved on to another ministry.
Personal accountability is absent in the present system in Britain and the EU. The bureaucrat says he or she is merely following procedures. What we need are entrepreneurs and risktakers, not bean counters.
Is there a Black Swan on the horizon? Yes. The Euro and the EU are artificial constructs. Their inspiration is Marxism. Marxist economics has failed everywhere it has been tried. Look out for the inevitable crash. Forewarned is forearmed. Prepare your exit strategy now.