Jan 14, 2013

Nassim Taleb on the illusion of stability of pegged currencies in Southeast Asia in 1997

[W]e are not sure that the world we live in is well charted.  We will see that the judgment derived from the analysis of these past attributes may on occasion mislead you and take you in the opposite direction.  Sometimes market data becomes a simple trap; it shows you the opposite of its nature, simply to get you to invest in the security or mismanage your risks.  Currencies that exhibit the largest historical stability, for example, are the most prone to crashes.  This was bitterly discovered in the summer of 1997 by investors who chose the safety of pegged currencies of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand (they were pegged to the U.S. dollar in a manner to exhibit no volatility, until their sharp, sudden, and brutal devaluations.)

~ Nassim Taleb, Fooled by Randomness, 2nd Edition, p. 102

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