Nassim Taleb

Former Trader, Risk Specialist and Best-Selling Author of The Black Swan

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Former Trader, Risk Specialist and Best-Selling Author of The Black Swan

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a leading essayist, philosopher of randomness, researcher, and practitioner of financial mathematics. He is one of the most important public intellectuals currently writing. Fortune Magazine called his book, Fooled by Randomness, one of the “smartest books of all time”.


Nassim Nicholas Taleb spent 21 years as a derivatives trader and “quant” before starting a full-time career as a scholar of applied probability and risk management. He is known for a “multidisciplinary but no-nonsense” approach to model error and the role of high-impact rare events (“black swans”). Taleb’s current program is to build rules of decision-making under incomplete information and to identify unreliable theories and models and shield individuals and society from them (“how to live in a world we don’t understand”).


Taleb is currently the Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at NYU-Polytechnic Institute, Visiting Professor at the London Business School and co-director of the Decision Science Laboratory focusing on errors in the estimation of remote events. He was the Dean’s Professor in the Sciences of Uncertainty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and, for 8 years, taught derivatives model errors at the Courant Institute of New York University. Before becoming a researcher, he held senior derivatives positions with major institutions: Credit Suisse First Boston, UBS, BNP-Paribas, Indosuez (now Calyon), Bankers Trust (now Deutsche Bank). He also worked as an independent pit trader in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and ran his own derivatives firm for 6 years. Taleb has also advised central banks and various government agencies on security, model risk, and risk management. He currently is the principal of a hedge fund and member of the board of several institutions.


Taleb holds an MBA from the Wharton School and a PhD from the University of Paris. He is the author of two essays on randomness and a technical clinical book on derivatives: Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable and Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets, and Dynamic Hedging: Managing Vanilla and Exotic Options.

The Black Swan

His books have more than 1.4 million copies and 51 translations in print. The Black Swan has been the highest selling essay in the world in 2007 and 2008. Taleb has 2 of the top 10 research papers on Social Science Research Network for 2008.

Black Swans - Living with the Highly Improbable

In this keynote speech, maverick thinker Nassim Nicholas Taleb will talk about his most famous work: the black swan theory. From 9/11 to the recent coronavirus pandemic, black swan events have immeasurable impact on the world and are just impossible to foresee. No matter what experts think, these events are not predictable. Join Dr. Taleb in this fascinating speech about the rare, unpredictable events that shape our world and have immense consequences to the global economy and learn how can we prepare - and prepare our organizations - for the next black swans.

Antifragile – Things That Gain From Disorder

In The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, one of the best thinkers of our time, described the big problems that these rare, unpredictable events have on our world. Events like the 9/11 or the recent coronavirus pandemic have a massive negative impact on the global economy causing concerning levels of unemployment as companies fail and national governments are poised to take on a huge amount of debt to contain the effects. In his second bestseller, Antifragile, Dr. Taleb explores if there are actually ways of benefiting from the disorder and chaos caused by these black swan events. In this keynote speech, Dr. Taleb offers a definitive solution to black swans: how can we gain from them while being protected from fragilities and adverse events? By being what Dr. Taleb calls the "antifragile" - going beyond the robust by benefiting from shocks, uncertainty, and stressors. While many companies and organizations fail, others welcome the uncertainty as they become immune to prediction errors. Dr. Taleb will offer a blueprint for how to not just behave but thrive in a world full of black swans we don't understand.

Fooled By Randomness – Distinguishing Skill from Luck and the Psychology of Uncertainty

Successful entrepreneurs and businessmen often say that their success is not explained by luck, but by hard work and consistency. Or that you make your own luck. According to bestselling author of the Black Swan, Dr. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, luck or chance plays a largely unacknowledged role in success - particularly in the finance industry. This keynote speech is based on his bestselling book, Fooled by Randomness, which is now a cornerstone for anyone interested in random outcomes. Dr. Taleb argued back in 2001 that luck is many times mistaken for skill - especially in the world of trading - and his arguments are more valid nowadays than ever, after recent studies showed that only a minority of fund managers generated returns that beat their benchmarks. And what's worse, those were lucky rather than good.

All Nassim Taleb Books

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
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The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
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Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in the Markets and in Life
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Recent Books

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
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The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
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