Money manager Pimco plans to offer investors a fund that will protect them against plunges of more than 15 percent in financial markets.
Bloomberg, which reported Pimco’s plans, dubbed the fund “Black Swan protection,” after the book “The Black Swan,” written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
In his 2007 book, the economist warned that investors had grown too comfortable with the idea that markets wouldn’t face a crisis, which of course they did just a year later.
Investors certainly aren’t comfortable now. Trading of credit derivatives that speculate on market volatility rose as much as 400 percent last year amid fear of market meltdowns, according to Morgan Stanley strategists, Bloomberg reports.
But Pimco and other firms that offer Black Swan protection won’t stick with it, Taleb predicts.
“They will drop like flies,” he told Bloomberg. “They and their customers will give up at some point. I’ve seen it before.”
That may not be for a while. Some commentators believe we haven’t even emerged from the financial crisis yet.
Taleb is one of them. "The situation today is vastly worse than a couple years ago,” he told CNBC.
“We had less debt worldwide then and more people employed. Today, we have more risk in the system, and a lower tax base.”
Debt has spread “like a cancer,” Taleb said.
And Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman wrote in The New York Times that we’ve entered a Depression.
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