Taleb, Summers do battle over financial crisis

Lawrence Summers
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In Nassim Taleb's view, the root causes of the financial crisis have not been fixed. From Larry Summers' perspective, policy makers did what they had to do to contain a problem that had no easy answers.

The two presented their opposing views during a lively exchange Thursday that showed the debate over what happened and should have happened in 2008 and 2009 is far from settled.

"When you have a crisis of the kind we had, the policies were very good policies as painkillers to try to control the damage and stop the bleeding, but it did not address the cancer," said Taleb, author of multiple books including "The Black Swan" which warned in 2007 of systemic danger due to excessive risk-taking. "What is the core cancer that we have today? It is not hidden risk...(it is) lack of skin in the game by the largest class of decision makers ever in history."

The two spoke at SkyBridge Capital's SALT 2014 conference in Las Vegas.