Diaper liner, sawdust, golf balls and shredded tires -- these are some of the items used to try and contain the oil and nuclear disasters that marked the end of this century’s first decade and the start of the second.
Nassim Taleb believes in probabilities, not predictions, but at times it can be hard to tell the difference. “The real Black Swan event,” he said in June, “is that people are not rioting against the banks in London and New York.”
Global markets are signaling that sustained economic growth will more than make up for Japan’s worst disaster since World War II, rising commodity prices and uprisings throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
The U.S. economy is slowly reviving, leaving behind with each passing month the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It goes without saying that an expanding economy is better than a contracting one, but the consensus outlook is far from cheery. Instead, it calls for years of muted growth and high unemployment.