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Season 2, Episode 26: John Kay on Radical Uncertainty

COVID-19 and the pendelum of probabilistic reasoning

University of Oxford economist John Kay joins the podcast to discuss his recent book, “Radical Uncertainty” and its lessons for financial markets in the age of COVID-19.

Content:

  • The premise for the book: Frank Knight, Milton Friedman and the pendelum of probabilistic reasoning (1:20);
  • It is “almost impossible to overstate” the influence of efficient market reasoning on economic and financial market models (4:02);
  • Radical uncertainty: There is a great deal of information that cannot be realistically thought about probabilistically. Enter COVID-19 (8:20);
  • What’s an investor to do with this information? (10:15);
  • Financial modeling has conflated risk, uncertainty, and volatility. They aren’t the same thing (12:53);
  • Time horizons and the importance of imagination. Humans are natural story tellers. This is more important than pure maths (20:24);
  • Where does real estate fit? (25:25);
  • Background on the guest (30:28);
  • What is the market getting wrong right now? (34:37);
  • Short discussion of the U.S. election (41:04).

More Information on the Guest

Not intended as investment advice.

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