Nassim Taleb, the multimillionaire hedge fund manager, best-selling author, and self-proclaimed intellectual, has been called many things. “Provocative,” “contrarian,” and “arrogant” are just some of the adjectives that have been used to describe him. But one thing that’s not up for debate is whether Taleb is intelligent. In fact, some would say that he’s too smart for his own good.
Taleb has made a career out of being right when everyone else is wrong. He correctly predicted the housing market crash of 2008 and the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management in 1998. He also predicted the 9/11 terror attacks. But while Taleb is often lauded for his prescience, there are those who say that his success is more luck than anything else. After all, anyone who takes enough risks is bound to be right occasionally.
There’s no denying that Taleb is a smart man. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Paris and is fluent in several languages. He’s also a best-selling author whose books have been translated into over 40 languages. But there are those who say that Taleb’s intellect is more show than substance. They point to his combative manner and love of controversy as evidence that he’s more interested in being thought of as clever than actually being clever.
So, is Nassim Taleb intelligent? There’s no easy answer. On the one hand, he has made a career out of being right when everyone else is wrong. On the other hand, there are those who say that his success is more luck than anything else. Ultimately, whether or not you think Taleb is intelligent probably depends on how you define intelligence. If you’re looking for someone who isn’t afraid to take risks and isn’t afraid to be controversial, then you might say that Taleb is indeed intelligent. But if you’re looking for someone who shies away from the limelight and avoids confrontation, then you might say that Taleb doesn’t quite fit the bill.