Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Oh Berkshire Hathaway Fans: "'Black Swan' Author Nassim Taleb: Warren Buffett May Just Be Lucky" (BRK.B; BRK.A)

How to keep your name in the headlines by making a sophomore statistical point (sample size, error bars, confidence levels).
From CNBC:
Nassim Taleb says there isn't enough evidence to show that Warren Buffett's skill, and not his good luck, is responsible for the billionaire's enormous investing success over the decades.

Taleb is the author who gained fame and fortune writing about 'Black Swans' and the impact of other improbable events ahead of the subprime mortgage market's collapse.

In an "interrogation" interview that starts in the online magazine ai5000 and is continued on its website, Taleb is quoted as saying:

"I don’t want to spend too much time on Buffett. George Soros has 2 million times more statistical evidence that his results are not chance than Buffett does. Soros is vastly more robust. I am not saying Buffett doesn’t have skill—I’m just saying we don’t have enough evidence to say Buffett isn’t doing it by chance."

An expanded paperback edition of Taleb's Black Swan is scheduled for release in May....

I get a kick out of ai5000's motto:

Insight for the World's Most Sophisticated Asset Owners