On Tails

Tail events, in probability speak, are extreme events with the potential for a very large impact but which have a very low likelihood of occurring. Many people (I think accurately) view the most recent financial crisis as the occurrence of a tail event: it was highly unlikely that the system would experience such a drastic collapse, but it happened. We might consider the change of nuclear war or alien invasion as a tail risk. In N. Nassim Taleb’s The Black Swan, Taleb discusses the dangers of such risks with an analogy: even if you have encountered thousands of swans in your lifetime, and have never Continue reading On Tails