Investor Hans Overturf enjoys flying helicopters, running, and reading. Hans Overturf counts Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s The Black Swan among his favorite books. This prophetic book was one of the only works published before the recent market decline that warned of a coming downturn. The book discusses the idea of the “black swan,” an improbably yet highly impactful event, and argues that such an event occurs much more frequently than we would assume.
A second edition of The Black Swan, which included an additional essay by Taleb called “On Robustness and Fragility,” was published in 2010. The essay continues to build on the book’s thesis and offers some advice on building a society that is more aware of black swan events. In many ways, he calls for economic revolution, yet his suggestions are subtle and make sense, especially in light of the 2008 crisis.
Taleb recognizes that black swan events cannot be prevented. Instead, he encourages the creation of a more robust economy that anticipates such events and handles them gracefully. As he argues, the 2008 crisis was not a black swan event but the fallout from the fragility of our market.