Friday 2018-02-16

Tyler Cowen interviewed Matt Levine and got this:

COWEN: So many days in the week, early in the morning typically, you have produced something that is perfectly clear and lucid and witty and informative and original.
So many days over the course of a year -- more than anyone else I know -- spanning law, economics, finance, history, other things. There are many facets of your day in your work routines, but if you had to explain to someone what is the Matt Levine production function, what is it you would draw our attention to?
LEVINE: I think, like a lot of people, a lot of it is panic.

At the heart of this one-liner, there is a kernel of truth. Consider though, the alternate view that Levine was being quite serious, and that fear is either the dominant or sole motivator.

Levine worked as an investment banker previously, has a large readership at Bloomberg, and lives in Park Slope, so he seems to have a pretty easy life. So what exactly does he conjure up in his head as a source of Fear?

Given the possibility of strategically cultivating fear, what fear could you conjure that could not be turned against you -- i.e. weaponized by someone else?

I try to be pretty ruthlessly focused on places where I have an advantage or where I can add value.

This is quite admirable as it seems he has managed to do exactly that.