为什么瑞士是有史以来最稳定的国家？与其他国家不同的是，瑞士货币币值自危机以来持续走高，而瑞士并没有强大的中央银行来支撑这一切。就这点来说，上述功劳似与中央政府关系不大。在《反脆弱性：无序的收获》（Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder）一书中，纳西姆·塔勒布戏谑地写道，比起自己国家总统的名字，瑞士的老百姓们反倒更熟悉法国总统和美国总统的名字。
期货交易员出身的思想家塔勒布将《反脆弱性》一书视为毕生杰作，书中所讲的不过是一个被今人遗忘的老道理。脆弱的事物，例如大银行和负债的消费者，面临压力时倾向崩溃。但是，现实世界还有不少事物会在压力作用下变得更加强壮。去健身房练举重会让一个人的肌肉更加有力。病菌能加强我们的免疫系统。尽管颇受非议，《五十度灰》（Fifty Shades of Grey）一书的销量却一路扶摇而上。
How did Switzerland become the most stable country in history? Its currency, unlike ours, keeps hitting new highs post-crisis, yet Switzerland doesn't have a large central bank working behind the scenes. For that matter, it doesn't have much of a central government. In Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder, Nassim Taleb jokes that the average Swiss citizen can name the presidents of France and the United States before they can name their own.
It turns out Switzerland perfectly captures Taleb's idea of antifragility -- the concept that certain things grow stronger with shock and turmoil, as opposed to fragile things, which just break down.
Taleb argues that Switzerland is a model of stability precisely because it doesn't have a big central bank or national government. Instead, its dozens of sovereign mini-states squabble and fight constantly. This turmoil actually makes the country stronger because the Swiss get small problems out of the way before they can metastasize into something bigger like, say, a fiscal cliff.
What Taleb introduces in Antifragile -- a book the brash options-trader-turned-philosopher calls his life's work -- is an old concept that seems to have been forgotten today. Fragile things, such as big banks or debt-laden consumers, tend to break under stress. But the world is full of things that grow stronger when exposed to stress. Your muscles get stronger when you lift weights at the gym. Immune systems strengthen from exposure to germs. Fifty Shades of Grey sales soar despite critical disdain.
What riles Taleb is that our leaders have increasingly shifted the modern world in the opposite direction of antifragility. As a result, our economy and society are vulnerable to little shocks. The financial system is dependent on five large banks that are too-big-to-fail, no matter how big their mistakes. Our central bankers juice the economy for short-term gain without knowing how they're affecting the next decade. By avoiding shocks to our banks and economy -- AKA the natural business cycle -- we actually harm both. "Avoiding small mistakes makes the big ones more severe," Taleb writes.