Nassim Taleb was a recent guest on EconTalk. He discussed his ideas on loss aversion, speficially that there is nothing irrational about loss aversion because avoiding total loss is a prerequisite for playing the game. He quotes Warren Buffet as saying, “in order to succeed, you must first survive.” He also discussed it in the context of mental accounting, suggesting that mental accounting is the rational way to think about investing. Only making risky investments with “house money” can protect from total loss. Moreover, these strategies naturally evolve because those who don’t adopt them go bust and are weeded out of the game.
Always provocative. Often scattered and hard to follow. Taleb presents interesting ideas that run counter to mainstream thinking.