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Slideshow: Apocalypse How? Dire ’12 Forecasts

By Ben Steverman - 2012-01-14T03:12:30Z

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The author of the best-selling 2007 book "The Black Swan," Nassim Nicholas Taleb said last June that the U.S.'s debt situation was worse than that of Greece. "The difference between Europe and the U.S. is the consciousness of the problem," Taleb said in September. He warned the world's predicament is more dire than in 2008. "And, we will pay a higher price," he said in October. "We haven't done anything constructive in three and a half years. Nobody wants to do anything drastic now." Asked about these statements, Taleb wrote in an Jan. 12 email: "These are not predictions but statements of riskiness."

(Left, Sin Sun Wu, a U.S. citizen, was a garment worker but lost his job in 2011.)

Photograph by Chien-Chi Chang/Magnum Photos