I Have No Choice but to Own Stocks: 'Black Swan' Author

Tuesday, 13 Mar 2012 | 11:54 AM ET

The U.S. economic situation is so bad, the author of "The Black Swan" said he has "no choice but to own stocks" to "preserve my financial situation."

Nassim Taleb, New York University professor and author of 'The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.'
Jonathan Fickles | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Nassim Taleb, New York University professor and author of 'The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.'

"I own stocks," Nassim Taleb told CNBC Tuesday. "I don’t trust Treasury bonds. I’d rather have a dividend than a coupon. I am afraid of hyperinflation. So I have no choice but to own stock and some real estate to preserve my financial situation."

He also has "some euros," because despite the bad press, "they know the problems in Europe" but the U.S. does not.

Taleb, who is in the process of updating his 2007 book, considers a "black swan" event to be something undirected and unpredicted. But he said the current U.S. economic problems have been years in the making, causing him to distrust the Obama administration, the Republicans in Congress and all the Republican presidential challengers — except Texas congressman Ron Paul.

"Only one candidate, Ron Paul, is saying the right things for the issues we are facing," Taleb said. "I’m a risk-based person. From my vantage point there's only one candidate representing the right policies."

Taleb said he believes in an America that is resilient. "You don't achieve that through bailouts," he said. "You need the economy to stay vital. You need a rate of failure. What is fragile should break early."

Taleb on Next 'Black Swan' Event
"The only candidate I trust is Ron Paul," says Nassim Taleb, "The Black Swan" author. He also shares what he fears will be the next "black swan" event for the U.S. economy.

He said Paul's plans, including making drastic cuts in government, ending corporate bailouts and abolishing the Federal Reserve can "cure the fundamental issues. He’s against the issue of novocaine. If you have a severe problem, you do root canal. That’s the only choice you have. You have to start with a government budget that is in control. You don’t gamble with future generations' money."

Can America live with austerity? "We are doing it to the Greeks," he said. "We should do it to ourselves. We want jobs, we want a healthy economy. I want to live in a country that has the energy to rebuild things. This is gone. We have a metastatic government...You need to do something drastic."

The whole system "is rotten," he added. "The advisers around [President] Obama who were part of the problem were friends with the bankers. I don’t trust the Republicans with deficits. Look at what we had under the Republican administrations including George [W.] Bush. I want the main problems to be addressed and I want a major cleanup.

"I don’t care about [Ron Paul's] chances. I support him. We have no other solutions. It is my duty as a citizen and as a taxpayer who doesn’t want to be hoodwinked in the long term by bureaucrats."


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