When Nassim Nicholas Taleb looks at President Donald Trump, he doesn’t see “a trainwreck.” The real trainwreck, according to the trader turned author, is “unfettered globalization.” That’s the real danger that members of “the resistance” should be worried about, Taleb says during an interview with Bloomberg.
While he may not be a staunch “anti-globalist”, at least Trump has promised to fix some things in system that, left unchecked, will sooner or later lead to wealth accumulating disproportionately at the top end of income earners as wave after wave of corporate consolidation lines the pockets of the transnational corporate class. When he wrote about the dangers of globalization in his book “The Black Swan, “everybody cheered,” Taleb reminds his host. But now, people are defining their views on globalization based on their blanket opposition to Trump, causing them to overlook an even more sinister threat to their economic well being.
Trump could still prove to be a disappointment if he ends up abandoning his promises. But Taleb rejects the narrative of Trump that “some people” – the readers of The New York Times and Washington Post – are buying into: That Trump tried to pressure former FBI Director James Comey into dropping the bureau’s investigation into Mike Flynn, and is on the verge of being impeached.
Ignoring the ceaseless fearmongering in the media, Trump isn’t really that different from other politicians, Taleb says: The main differences are “his language and how he does things in an accelerated way.”
“Trump is not an idiot. There’s a logic to Trump that you can only get if you forget about the news and you look at Trump as Trump.”
By vowing to fix America’s “metastatic” tax code, Trump is on the cusp of accomplishing something truly remarkable by solving a problem 32 years in the making. Taleb also believes that Obamacare should be replaced with something “more rational.” Though he stopped short of saying whether the AHCA is the right answer, he made it very clear: It’s not single-payer.
“We’re not Canadians. Canada is a small country you cannot scale things up. We need something different,” Taleb says. However, Trump has made one major mistake when it comes to message: He’s tried to own the market’s performance since the election. By doing so, Trump “bought at the top,” unlike Obama, who took office at the outset of an eight year bull market.
“Claiming credit for that rise in the market makes him vulnerable to a selloff.” While Tuesday’s selloff was likely just a “blip,” the tail risk in the market increases with each new record high in the S&P 500.
“If you own stocks without a hedge [right now], it’s not rational.”
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