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As Taleb tells it, they are untrustworthy twice over: they don't lose their shirt when they get it wrong, yet they are advising others to risk theirs.READ MORE: * Book review: Gabriel's Bay by Catherine Robertson * Book review: Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton * Book review: Baby by Annaleese Jochems * Book review: Driving to Treblinka by Diana Wichtel I won't take it personally that he names journalists "who analyse and predict" in his condemned list of those without skin in the game. The counter-argument is that skin in the game can itself distort the pundit's judgment, in corrupt ways.When I was on the FT's column over 20 years ago, it would have been a sacking offence if I had advocated the investing public buy shares in which I happened to have an interest.But Taleb is fundamentally right: my recommendations were disinterested... I knew that if my recommendations turned out to be duff, it would not cause me any loss: better still, I was writing under a pseudonym.
Another man explains that he pursues mainland women online because he believes Hong Kong women to be conceited and disobedient.It's surprising that Taleb, whose family suffered from the consequences of the Lebanese civil war of the 1970s, should have a good word for militia members.But this personal experience helps explain his vivid appreciation of catastrophic risk: when your own family's fortunes have been savagely reduced by a sudden switch from peaceful co-existence to barbarous internecine conflict, it is bound to have a profound effect on your world-view, even relating to matters that appear purely financial.It's odd, however, that Taleb gives no consideration to the notion that a man's reputation for competence and honesty counts as skin in the game.After all, the laws of defamation and libel exist in part because loss of reputation itself has potentially catastrophic financial consequences for the plaintiff.