Books

Skin in the Game

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The bestselling author of The Black Swan is back with a book challenging many of our long-held beliefs

"Skin in the game is the ultimate BS filter and the engine of evolution. Do not pay attention to what people say, only to what they do, and how much of their neck they are putting on the line."

Citizens, artisans, police, fishermen, political activists and entrepreneurs all have skin in the game. Policy wonks, corporate executives, many academics, bankers and most journalists don't. It's all about having something to lose and sharing risks with others. In his most provocative and practical book yet, Nassim Nicholas Taleb shows that skin in the game, often seen as the foundation of risk management, in fact applies to all aspects of our lives.

In his inimitable style, Taleb draws on everything from Antaeus the Giant to Hammurabi to Donald Trump, from ethics to used car salesmen, to create a jaw-dropping framework for understanding this idea. Among his insights:

For social justice, focus on symmetry and risk sharing.

Minorities, not majorities, run the world.

You can be an intellectual yet still be an idiot.

Beware of complicated solutions (that someone was paid to find).

Just as The Black Swan did during the 2007 financial crisis, Skin in the Game comes at precisely the right moment to challenge our long-held beliefs about risk, reward, politics, religion and business - and make us rethink everything we thought we knew.

The Bed of Procrustes

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

A condensed guide to life, Nassim Nicholas Taleb's The Bed of Procrustes is an invaluable collection of aphorisms to help you navigate the modern world.

Second edition, revised and expanded

Why are we so often unwilling to accept that life is unpredictable? In this brilliant book Nassim Nicholas Taleb distils his idiosyncratic wisdom to demolish our illusions, contrasting the classical values of courage, elegance and erudition against modern philistinism and phoniness. Only by accepting what we don't know, he shows, can we see the world as it really is.

Antifragile

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. Here Taleb stands uncer­tainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resil­ient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.

Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls antifragile are things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.

Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world. Erudite, witty, and iconoclastic, Taleb's message is revolutionary: the antifragile, and only the antifragile, will make it.

'The hottest thinker in the world' Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

The Black Swan

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nassim Nicholas Taleb's phenomenal international bestseller The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable shows us how to stop trying to predict everything - and take advantage of uncertainty.

What have the invention of the wheel, Pompeii, the Wall Street Crash, Harry Potter and the internet got in common? Why are all forecasters con-artists? What can Catherine the Great's lovers tell us about probability? Why should you never run for a train or read a newspaper?

This book is all about Black Swans: the random events that underlie our lives, from bestsellers to world disasters. Their impact is huge; they're impossible to predict; yet after they happen we always try to rationalize them.

'Taleb is a bouncy and even exhilarating guide ... I came to relish what he said, and even develop a sneaking affection for him as a person' Will Self, Independent on Sunday

'He leaps like some superhero of the mind' Boyd Tonkin, Independent

'Funny, quirky and thought-provoking ... confirms his status as a guru for every would-be Damien Hirst, George Soros and aspirant despot' John Cornwell, Sunday Times

'Idiosyncratically brilliant' Niall Ferguson, Sunday Telegraph

'Great fun ... brash, stubborn, entertaining, opinionated, curious, cajoling' Stephen J. Dubner, Co-Author of Freakonomics

Fooled by Randomness

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Everyone wants to succeed in life. But what causes some of us to be more successful than others? Is it really down to skill and strategy - or something altogether more unpredictable?

This book is the bestselling sensation that will change the way you think about business and the world. It is all about luck: more precisely, how we perceive luck in our personal and professional experiences. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the markets - we hear an entrepreneur has 'vision' or a trader is 'talented', but all too often their performance is down to chance rather than skill. It is only because we fail to understand probability that we continue to believe events are non-random, finding reasons where none exist.

'One of the smartest books of all time' Fortune

'An iconoclastic tour de force ... nothing escapes his Exocets' Evening Standard

'Brilliant' John Kay

'Excellent and thought-provoking ... an entertaining book' Financial Times

'Wall Street's principal dissident' Malcolm Gladwell

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Biography

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a radical no-nonsense philosopher for our times. He has spent his life immersing himself in problems of luck, uncertainty, probability, and knowledge, and he has led three high-profile careers around his ideas, as a man of letters, as a businessman-trader, and as a university professor and researcher. He is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University's School of Engineering. He is the author of the 4-volume INCERTO (Antifragile, The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, and The Bed of Procrustes). Taleb refuses all awards and honours as they debase knowledge by turning it into competitive sports.

Author image © Sarah Josephine Taleb