He emerged in the months prior to the global financial and economic crisis that erupted in the fall of 2008, warning of a deadly convergence of worrying economic and financial dangers. Nouriel Roubini, economics professor at New York University and owner of his own consultancy firm, issued warnings that in retrospect seem almost magically prescient. Roubini's prediction that the contraction in housing prices in the U.S. housing market would metastasize into a devastating financial hurricane seemed so incomprehensively dire, the pundits and eternal optimists on Wall Street dubbed him with the moniker of "Dr. Doom."
For those not punch-drunk on Wall Street's propaganda, Nouriel Roubini even issued what amounted to as a checklist of discrete steps that would occur until the investment banks imploded, leading to a fiscal Armageddon. During the summer of 2008, the checkmarks on Roubini's list of foreboding prognostications accumulated, until Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, and the global economic crisis erupted with fury as credit markets worldwide went into cardiac arrest.
Now, four years later, Roubini is back with his prophecies of gloom and foreboding for the global economy. Dr. Doom has taken to the airwaves, warning policymakers as well as the public that there is a high probability that a perfect economic and fiscal storm will erupt in 2013. Essentially, Roubini's forecast is as follows: Until the November U.S. presidential elections of this year, there will be a deceptive calm before the storm, as every major economy plagued with severe fiscal problems continues to kick the can down the road. Come 2013, there will be a convergence of several major negative metrics. These include the worsening eurozone debt crisis, likely leading to the exit of Greece from the monetary union. China will face a hard economic landing, and the United States -- its economic growth and job creation performance already anemic -- will face a high probability of a renewed economic recession, particularly in a political environment favoring austerity. In addition to those economic factors, there is one other element in the turbulent brew that comprises Roubini's prediction of a perfect economic storm in 2013: Iran. If the Iranian nuclear issue is not resolved peacefully, which at present seems highly doubtful, there is a high probability of a military conflict occurring in the region, which will add further strains upon the global economy, particularly if oil prices spike to highly elevated levels.
Dr. Doom is back, with a characteristically gloom-laden warning about likely economic trends for 2013. Unlike the pontificators among the politicians, Wall Street glad-handlers and central bankers, Roubini's analysis of future economic trends does have the virtue of reasoned logic as opposed to overly-optimistic rhetoric. Finally, Nouriel Roubini's record in predicting future trends impacting the global economy and financial system has been inherently more reliable than the forecasts offered by the U.S. Federal Reserve, as well as by the policymakers in America and Europe.
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