I found this CNBC segment from 2009, Dr. Nassim Taleb: “My Friend Nouriel Roubini Has A Weakness, He Likes Bernanke Too Much”.
Very special CNBC Squawk Box this morning, with Dr. Nouriel Roubini as the guest host and Black Swan, Dr. Nassim Taleb as a segment guest. We will have more from just Roubini later, but this is by far the best clip from the morning group, as it includes interplay and commentary from both. Taleb is difficult to transcribe because virtually every sentence is meaningful.
A conversation between Taleb and Roubini is like a dream to me. I won’t give you the dream adjective that comes to mind.
I tend to side with Roubini in this segment. Taleb is too much of an absolutist. While he is right about the mistakes of Bernanke, and Roubini agrees, someone who didn’t learn anything from his mistakes would have been much worse than Bernanke as the crisis unfolded. This is not to say that there couldn’t have been somebody better.
Of course what would have been better would have been a government to step in with the right fiscal policies rather than to force the Fed to use its inappropriate tools as best it could to solve the problems the rest of the government was incapable of handling.
Bernanke worked with the hand he was dealt better than a Greenspan would have. That may be faint praise, but it is praise nevertheless.