Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fidel, The Black Swan

When Fidel Castro threw out the corrupt Batista regime in Cuba (i.e. our bastards) President Dwight Eisenhower said that we should not worry about him much because he would be gone soon. Fifty years and ten Presidents later (six of whom are already dead), Fidel finally decided to step down. As Nicholas Taleb would say, he is a Black Swan.

Fidel: The Political Black Swan

What's the moral of the story? NEVER underestimate what looks like a "contained" situation. Like the subprime crisis.. which begat the credit crunch.. which begat the slowdown.. which begat (?) the recession.. which may beget much worse and for a much longer period of time than conventional wisdom currently expects.


  1. Maybe Bush et al can now occupy Cuba?

  2. First Berkeley and Ann Arbor!

    Then Cuba.

  3. I'll take the leadership of Castro over the corrupt bastards in our executive now.

    I don't think Fidel could do more damage to America than this pack of pirates did.

  4. "Fidel finally decided to step down."



  5. Maybe Bush et al can now occupy Cuba?

    Drop the embargo and neocolonialism (along with a few 'we have returned' gusanos) will surge between every undefended grain of sand. No doubt the next U.S. president will be a facilitator as will the whole generation of Cubans that has no real awareness of earlier conditions.

  6. Bush says the Iraq war is good for the economy

  7. Don't forget that Castro was pro Capitalism and anti communism when he took over.
    It was our insistence on depriving Cubans of their Sugar that turned him into the arms of the Soviets.

  8. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/10afd518-db2a-11dc-9fdd-0000779fd2ac.html

    "Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage financier, said on Thursday it had changed some of its rules relating to private mortgage insurers in a bid to support the troubled sector."

    “We’re trying to help the mortgage insurers,’’ Freddie Mac said.

    FRE was setup to support the "American Dream", but taxpayers dollars are now being diverted to help MTG, RAD and PMI.

  9. http://tinyurl.com/3xhtll

    The URL was cutoff in the last post

  10. How about this for a speculative play: buying some of the bonds that were issued by companies that were taken over/nationalized when Castro came into power?

  11. Except for a very few exceptions, 99.5% of people will always find the answer they are looking for. The exceptions stumble on the answer while the others already have the answers in their mind. They just need an evidence.

  12. (I love your blog so please don't take this as an attack.)

    I believe Taleb would call Castro a "gray swan". A "black swan" is an outlier, carries an extreme impact, and is explainable only after the fact. A "gray swan" is all of the above but is also somewhat predictable prior to the event. The Castro event is clearly an outlier and carries a potentially extreme impact but considering the finite nature of humans and Castro’s health problems, it was somewhat inevitable (thus predictable) that at some point that he would hang them up (or die). Timing is a whole other issue and nobody could predict the timing of this event. Just thought the clarification between black and gray swans was worth making.

  13. The Black Swan reference is not about him stepping down...
    it is about his revolution and the last 50 years.

  14. Our embargos with Cuba are rediculous!!! (We freely trade with the soviet Union now?!?!?!) They should've been terminated 20 years ago!!!

    ...but you are a fool if you think Castro is "good". I've been to Cuba for baseball, and know Cuban players. They are terrified of the man.

    Even when they escape the country, they still live in fear.

    Don't jump on a bad bandwagon!

    Rich H

  15. Hey, if Castro hadn't taken over the mob's Cuban casino business, Nevada would still be full of cows, Coke would still be full of sugar instead of Archer Daniels Midland High Fructose Corn Syrup, and the Cuban health care system would be more like that in the USA.

    Count your blessings.