Incompetent policymakers are to blame for a financial crisis that will continue until substantial changes are made, according to Nassim Taleb, author of "The Black Swan".
Taleb, principal at Universa Investments, told CNBC that choking debt, continued high unemployment and a system that rewards bad behavior will hamstring economic recovery.
"It is a matter of risk and responsibility, and I think the risks that were there before, these problems are still there," he said. "We still have a very high level of debt, we still have leadership that's literally incompetent ...They did not see the problem, the don't look at the core of problem. There's an elephant in the room and they did not identify it."
Pointing his finger directly at Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and President Obama, Taleb said policymakers need to begin converting debt into equity but instead are continuing the programs that created the financial crisis.
"I don't think that structural changes have been addressed," he said. "It doesn't look like they're fully aware of the problem, or they're overlooking it because they don't want to take hard medicine."