Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the best-selling author of “Black Swan” and “Antifragile” believes that Sam Bankerman-Fried (aka “SBF”), the disgraced co-founder and former CEO of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, should be “behind bars” right now (rather than in his $30 million penthouse apartment in The Bahamas.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a Lebanese-American essayist, scholar, mathematical statistician, and former quantitative trader. He is widely recognized as one of the world’s top experts on probability and uncertainty.

Publishing company Penguin Random House describes Taleb’s landmark five-book series “Fooled by Randomness”, “The Black Swan”, “The Bed of Procrustes”, “Antifragile”, “Skin in the Game”, which has been translated to forty-one languages, “an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand.”

His publisher goes on to say that Taleb “spends most of his time as a flâneur, meditating in cafés across the planet,” even though since 2008 he has been serving as a Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering.

In his 2007 book The Black Swan, Taleb wrote that a “Black Swan” event is an event that has the following three attributes:

First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility.

Second, it carries an extreme ‘impact’.

Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.

I stop and summarize the triplet: rarity, extreme ‘impact’, and retrospective (though not prospective) predictability.

A small number of Black Swans explains almost everything in our world, from the success of ideas and religions, to the dynamics of historical events, to elements of our own personal lives.

On 2 December 2022, Taleb explained why SBF should be behind bars already:

He went on to say:

Back on 20 February 2022, Taleb took a jab at Bitcoin, arguing that the cryptoasset is not serving as a proper hedge against a number of economic factors.

Taleb claimed that Bitcoin is not a hedge against inflation, oil squeezes or stocks, and noted that the number one cryptoasset by market capitalization has failed to serve as a hedge against geopolitical events. Taleb said that instead Bitcoin was “actually the exact opposite” and operated as a “perfect sucker game” during periods of low interest rates. 

Taleb, who previously supported the rise of crypto as an alternative source of money, has become increasingly critical of digital assets. Taleb revealed earlier in that month that he had begun selling his $BTC, noting the cryptoasset’s high volatility and failure to materialize as a suitable form of payment. 

In June 2021, Taleb published a paper titled “Bitcoin, Currencies, and Bubbles,” arguing that Bitcoin had failed to satisfy the notion of “currency without government.” Taleb claimed that Bitcoin did not constitute a short or long-term store of value, and was not a suitable safe haven for investors.