Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nouriel Roubini: Designated Doom and Gloomer?

When Lila Rajiva suspects someone is an insider, pay attention. She identified Nouriel Roubini as the "designated doom and gloomer” back in February.

More and more the picture that is emerging of Roubini is that of a major insider. Writes The New Republic: He has a
...swelling portfolio of clients--the World Bank, IMF, 50 central banks,and 30-odd finance ministries among them.

he hasn't attacked the Obama administration's policies with Paul Krugman's fury.
Could any of this be because the President's top adviser, Larry Summers was a silent partner in Roubini's consulting firm, RGE Monitor?

And TNR adds this new tidbit that I haven't seen anywhere before:

...he served briefly at the World Bank and the IMF, before deciding to abandon academia for a while and adopt the life of a bureaucrat at the White House and Treasury (where he was Timothy Geithner's adviser)


  1. I distrust people like Roubini because he has appropriately identified what is wrong and then gone ahead and recommended the absolute worst possible non-solution solution to the problem. It's one thing to be so ignorant of economics and reality that you misdiagnose the problem and therefore also suggest the wrong cure, it's quite another to be in Roubini's position and have such a sharp eye for what the problem is yet magically suggest a solution that does not address the problem, will cause more of the identified problem and also interestingly results in the govt having more power and influence.

    I have a hard time believing that someone who is smart enough to understand what's wrong can be simultaneously stupid enough to suggest an inappropriate solution... so I begin to question their true motives and alignment.

    Maybe I am just too cynical... or naive?

  2. TAYLOR : I think the question to ask these days is : Is he an economist or a politician, where "politician" is a definition including anyone who either

    a ) Is an elected official
    b ) Aims at being an elected official
    c ) Gets benefits from the possible actions of other elected officials
    d ) Has a private interest in acting in certain ways in regards to the actions/opinions of elected officials
    e ) Flat out takes bribes to say certain things

    Being stupid is excusable - acting stupid out of self-interest is, when it is guaranteed to hurt others, unexcusable - and should be punished by excommunication.

  3. When we're gonna punish people with an "ex-" word I always prefer execution. But excommunication will work in a pinch, too.

    Maybe that's why they call me an extremist and a radical.