Niall Ferguson: The Black Swan Investors Should Fear [is War]

The black swan event investors should fear is war, and the tapering that should concern them most is “geopolitical tapering.”

That was the impassioned message that economic historian and prominent conservative Niall Ferguson delivered on the closing day of Alegtris’ annual investment conference in San Diego, a tough hurdle, Ferguson quipped, saying “it’s hard to explain to people sitting in California that life can ever get bad.”

But noting that an act of state-sponsored terror in Sarajevo in 1914 precipitated World War I, the Harvard historian emphasized that investors in 2014 have more to worry about than a monetary taper that is often talked about but hasn’t actually happened.

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To those who might argue that trade in the region is too important to yield to war, Ferguson quotes Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who himself noted that the huge volume of trade between Britain and Germany in 1914 did not prevent those great powers from entering protracted military conflict.

Niall Ferguson: The Black Swan Investors Should Fear