Peter Thiel
President, Clarium Capital Management
01:26

What is your outlook?

To embed this video, copy this code:

Peter Thiel predicts 30 years of chaos and turmoil followed by a period of unimaginable flourishing and prosperity.

Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel is an American entrepreneur, hedge fund manager and venture capitalist.  He is Clarium’s President and the Chairman of the firm’s investment committee, which oversees the firm’s research, investment, and trading strategies. Before starting Clarium, Peter served as Chairman and CEO of PayPal, an Internet company he co-founded in December 1998 and was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in October 2002.

Prior to founding PayPal, Peter ran Thiel Capital Management , the predecessor to Clarium, which started with $1 million under management in 1996. Peter began his financial career as a derivatives trader at CS Financial Products, after practicing securities law at Sullivan & Cromwell.

In addition to managing Clarium, Peter is active in a variety of philanthropic and educational pursuits; he sits on the Board of Directors of the Pacific Research Institute, the Board of Visitors of Stanford Law School, and is an adviser to the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Peter received a BA in Philosophy from Stanford University and a JD from Stanford Law School.   He is self-described libertarian and a minority investor in Big Think.

Transcript

Question: Are you generally optimistic or pessimistic about the future?

Peter Thiel: I don’t know.  I think it’s really going to be dependent on the kinds of choices people make.  I'd be more optimistic if I felt other people were less irrationally optimistic.  I think people are not fully aware of some of the risks and some of the challenges we face; and so because of that are overly complacent.  That seems to me is a recipe for dramatically increasing the probability of something very bad happening. 

It’s very hard to know.  And it’s very hard to know which choices are going to be the critical ones, and how these things are precisely going to work out.  Because the world is a big place.  A lot of complicated things are going on. 

If you held a gun to my head and forced me to make a prediction, I think we’re headed towards 20, 30 years of incredible chaos and turmoil.  And then at the tail end we’ll emerge with a world better than any we can now imagine.

Recorded on: Sep 05, 2007


×