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  • Published: 5 March 2019
  • ISBN: 9780141982656
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $24.99

Skin in the Game

Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life




"A great iconoclast. . . Taleb, a Wall Street trader turned essayist, is a thinker touched by genius" Matthew Syed, author of Black Box Thinking

Why should we never listen to people who explain rather than do? Why do companies go bust? How is it that we have more slaves today than in Roman times? Why does imposing democracy on other countries never work?

The answer: too many people running the world don't have skin in the game. In this provocative book, Nassim Nicholas Taleb shows that skin in the game applies to all aspects of our lives. It's about having something to lose and taking a risk. Citizens, lab experimenters, artisans, political activists and hedge fund traders all have skin in the game. Policy wonks, corporate executives, theoreticians, bankers and most journalists don't.

In his inimitable, pugnacious style, Taleb creates a jaw-dropping framework for understanding this idea. Skin in the Game challenges our long-held beliefs about risk, reward, politics, religion and finance - and makes us rethink everything we thought we knew.

  • Published: 5 March 2019
  • ISBN: 9780141982656
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nassim Nicholas Taleb has devoted his life to immersing himself in problems of luck, uncertainty, probability and knowledge. Part literary essayist, part empiricist, part no-nonsense mathematical trader, he is currently Dean's Professor in the Science of Uncertainty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His last book, the bestseller Fooled by Randomness, has been published in eighteen languages and was selected by Fortune magazine as one of "The Smartest Books of All Time". Taleb lives mostly in New York.

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Praise for Skin in the Game

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is the Richard Wagner of uncertainty. While the Ring Cycle of the German composer/librettist portrayed the struggle of the gods in a series of operas, the Incerto series of books by the Lebanese-American author is devoted to humans -- specifically how we deal with the endemic risk in our all-too-finite existence

Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times

As always with Taleb, this is a fascinating set of ideas. And he's right. People with skin in the game learn how the game works. Without it, they don't

William Leith, Evening Standard

The most prophetic voice of all . . . Taleb is a genuinely significant philosopher . . . someone who is able to change the way we view the structure of the world through the strength, originality and veracity of his ideas alone

John Gray

The author of The Black Swan is back with a simple warning: don't buy what your neighbour is selling unless he owns some too. The obvious application for this is investing, but Taleb has a much broader domain. In a kind of philosophical Freakonomics, he takes us from 5th-century wandering monks (banned by the church because they were too free) to Donald Trump (his imperfections showed he had skin in the game)

Rosamund Urwin, Sunday Times Books of the Year

A thinker for uncertain times. . . If you want to better understand populism, Trump, Brexit and the anti-establishment backlash then Taleb, of no party or clique, is your man

Josh Glancy, Sunday Times

A great iconoclast. . . Taleb, a Wall Street trader turned essayist, is a thinker touched by genius. . . The big picture he presents is powerfully argued and offers myriad policy implications

Matthew Syed, The Times

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