Steen Jakobsen
The Bank of Japan has abandoned quantitative easing and the European Central Bank may taper its bond-buying programme, so what is the role of central banks in 2017, asks Saxo Bank’s chief economist Steen Jakobsen.
Article / 01 July 2016 at 9:45 GMT

EU 'doomed to fail': Nassim Taleb

First in Business Worldwide. /
  • 'Black Swan' author Taleb calls the EU 'incompetent, doomed'
  • Writer, investment advisor cites wave of anti-elite sentiment
  • Taleb believes transnational unions not necessary for trade, cooperation
  • Says US presidential candidate Trump 'knows what people want'

Nassim Taleb


The European Union is doomed to fail, "Black Swan" author Nassim Nicholas Taleb said Thursday. He told CNBC's "Power Lunch" the EU has become a "metastatic and rather incompetent bureaucracy" that is too intrusive.

An outdated model

"The way they've been building it top-down from Brussels is doomed to fail. This is 2016. They are still thinking [in terms of] 1950 economics," said Taleb, who is also the author of "Antifragile" and is an advisor to Universa Investments.

Taleb has warned about an EU breakup for some time, calling the union a horrible, stupid project back in 2012.

In fact, the UK's vote to exit the EU last week didn't turn out to be the catastrophe that was expected, he said. While Brexit fears initially rattled global markets, stocks have been climbing back up over the last few days.

Trade without union

While he's against the current bureaucracy in place in Europe, he still believes countries can work together, forming free trade agreements and joint military and economic policies. He envisions an Anglo-Saxon economic zone that encompasses the US, Ireland, Scotland and Britain.

Taleb also doesn't see Brexit as an isolated event.

"People just realize that these elites don't know what they're talking about. It's nice to have elites… you don't want them to tell you what to do," he said. "So they are tired of that and it's a rebellion."

"You have waves and of course we have a wave and I think that… it's spreading".

The trials and errors of Trump

That can be seen in the popularity of Donald Trump, he added. "He's a brilliant salesperson. He knows how to sell you real estate… he knows what people want. And he detected exactly that point. And he's delivering, but through trial and error."

Donald Trump
The Trump campaign appears to be benefitting from the same wave of populist anger and resentment that led Britain's Leave faction to victory last week. Photo: iStock 

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