“Amateurs in any discipline are the best, if you can connect with them. Unlike dilettantes, career professionals are to knowledge what prostitutes are to love.” Nassim Taleb
When I first joined a now defunct investment bank as an analyst in the early 2000s, I became puzzled, in my yet uninitiated naiveté, with the idea of a structured bond. Common sense and a lack of experience – qualities that allow one to analyze a new concept from an unobstructed and unbiased 10,000-foot view – signaled to me that the risk in such a bond was not eliminated, no matter the fancy structure. “It’s spread out,” – someone, a professional, told me, and I did not pursue my inquiry further, as you don’t really have time to ponder things on the trading desk. Pretty soon I, too, became a professional and fell into that trap of thinking I knew more than those doubting philistines. My specialization became a great excuse to dismiss the pesky, pedestrian questions of the know-nothings.
Continue to read here.