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This time it's differrent

These are the four most dangerous words in investing, in poker, in decision making in general.

In investing and in poker, it is easier to fall into this kind of thinking because the scenarios repeat every few months / years or every few hands. And when it happens, we tend to over-index on the outcomes that resulted from such a situation the previous time.

So, when I see people questioning the decision making of politicians and leaders about their responses to the Covid situation, whether about how quickly or slowly they acted or about their funding cuts to preventing pandemics, etc, I cringe.

A decision needs to be evaluated not on the outcome but on the information that was available at the time of making the decision and the trade-offs that needed to be made. What outcomes resulted has a factor of luck that nobody can account for.

Given everything we knew at the time, was it the best decision is what we should be asking. Not, if only a different decision had been taken then, the situation that we are in could have been prevented.

Nobody knows that it could have been prevented and nobody can. 

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