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Nouriel Roubini: London Olympics Are 'An Economic Failure As London Is Totally Empty'

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Nouriel Roubini, an NYU economist, harshly criticized the London Olympics' economic impact.
Nouriel Roubini, an NYU economist, harshly criticized the London Olympics' economic impact.

An economics professor known as "Dr. Doom" offered a characteristically pessimistic analysis of the London Olympics on Sunday.

"The Olympics are an economic failure as London is totally empty: hotels, restaurants, streets. They scared all off with crowd excess warnings," Nouriel Roubini, economics professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

Before the games began, British officials told Britons and foreign tourists without Olympics tickets to stay home because they feared overcrowding.

"By scaring everyone to stay out of London with warnings about too many people coming here it turns that London is totally empty, a zombie city," Roubini wrote.

"The West End - usually packed on any Saturday night - was an empty waste land last night: barely a soul to be found in theaters, bars, etc.," he continued, adding: "They scared away all non-Olympic tourists that pack London all summer; they pushed most Londoners to escape; they told 2 million to work at home."

It appears Dr. Doom has a point. There have been fewer customers in London stores during the Olympics than during the same period last year, according to the consumer research firm Experian FootFall. A recent report by Moody's forecasts that the London Olympics will help its corporate sponsors but not the British economy.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, for his part, predicted last month that the London Olympics would generate more than $20 billion for the British economy over the next four years.

Such a big economic impact could have helped Cameron. The prime minister's deep government budget cuts have helped push Great Britain into a double-dip recession, and just 32 percent of Britons are satisfied with Cameron's leadership, according to a May survey by Ipsos Mori cited by Sky News.

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