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Taleb Calls Cameron ‘Extraordinary’ in New Statesman Interview

Author Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of "The Black Swan," speaks during an event at the New York Public Library. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of “The Black Swan,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron is “the only thing we have left” to build a more robust economy, in an interview with the New Statesman magazine.

Taleb, whose book is about how unforeseen events can roil markets, said that Cameron is “extraordinary” and “understands expert problems,” according to a transcript released by the London-based magazine. By contrast, “Barack Obama doesn’t have a clue.”

After Taleb met Cameron for an hour in London, he told the New Statesman, “I went to Washington, and the discourse had nothing to do with the real problem. And I thought, ‘He’s the only thing we have left.’”

Cameron’s government yesterday announced the formation of a panel to examine the future structure and regulation of banking, including the question of whether to split up retail and investment banks. Taleb praised his moves to cut the deficit.

“You have to take some pain to remove the tumor,” he said. “It’s unethical for members of society today to spend their great-grandchildren’s money. Lower the level of debt, encourage equity, and you definancialize the economy.”

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