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News Link • Government Debt & Financing

Charlie Rose Talks to Nassim Taleb

So what should they have done, as soon as they realized that there was too much risk in the system, that they had overleveraged? When Obama took power, he appointed people who were part of the system that caused all this risk. It was the wrong message. They started doing the stimulus package. ... We should have done what David Cameron in the U.K. understood immediately—try to cut the cancer immediately. Tell us what David Cameron has done. He realized that the problem is not a problem of recession. The problem is vastly worse. It's the problem of risk, which can lead eventually to a much worse recession later, you see. The problem of all these people who are ... against austerity, in favor of spending money we don't have, is that they don't realize that you're fragilizing the system further with these packages of stimulus. Take an individual: If you're in debt, you borrow more? If you're in debt, you spend less, is what you would argue. There are two moral problems. No. 1, the innocent are paying for the mistakes of those who did the wrong thing. And the second one is that by borrowing, by running this trillion-plus deficit, you are transferring the risk to future generations. It may work out. But as the Romans held, a child should not be responsible for the sins of his father. And if we delay dealing with the deficit ... It's going to get worse.

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