Nouriel Roubini the Macroeconomist Extraordinaire


The opportunities for global growth on a sustained basis are quite positive. Right now the basic building block of global demand , the US consumer, is faltering; therefore there is a lack of aggregate demand relative to supply. The supply has been rising because China and emerging markets have been investing so much in new factories and new productive capacity. A lack of demand relative to excess supply–that’s what the global recession is.

You have to have a complete rebalancing of the global economy. The global imbalances are not sustainable anymore.

(From Dec. 2009 issue of GQ)

I have spoken before of how I believed there existed a very real danger of slipping into a depression economy or have the “double-dip” recession model enacted upon us. I believe the danger still exists but there are many signs pointed in the other direction as well.

Roubini speaks of an “L-shaped” model in terms of his predictions for American economic recovery, and I think he holds the most accurate take on economics available. The “double-dip” is the “W-shaped” model that I spoke of before and it looks like the “L” or perhaps the optimistic “elongated U” are the far more likely graph of US economic growth.

The media calls him “Dr Doom,” and I guess that makes me “Dr Doom Jr” because I am less optimistic that we will balance the global economy. But if there was ever any question as where I get my economics, I would have to cite Roubini.

Let us not forget that he predicted the housing market burst and the coming of the global economic recession. It is important to hear what he has to say at this stage and I find it strange how often his assessment mirrors my own:

Roubini’s Three Major Concerns about current US Economy

The banks that “still have bad assets weighing on them, remain unable and unwilling to lend.”

The “US households that are increasingly indebted and decreasingly employed.”

The corporations that are “improving balance sheets by cutting jobs and cutting costs other than increasing revenue.”

The big question here:

Why in the years and months before the economic crisis was it only “bubble bloggers,” Roubini and a handful of Democrats who warned of the coming housing market bubble bursting and the resulting recession from the burst?

There is no question that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke responded aptly to the situation and that the Congressional bailout measures were indeed necessary. What remains to be seen is if the same people who would so readily jump to rescue a sinking economy would have the foresight to see the coming of a “double-dip” recession or if they would warn of it if indeed they did. I believe many financial “experts” are people who only understand talking-up the market and have long since given up on objective assessments on economics.