Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How Nouriel Roubini's TriBeCa Condo Became a Rental: An Avant Garde Probe Into the Value of His Forecasts

This story could be made into a bad TriBeCa Movie Festival short film.

An economist warns about the real estate crisis and becomes so sought after that he makes enough money to buy, what else? Real estate. Nouriel "Dr. Doom" Roubini recently bought a new $5.5 million apartment, although from all forecasts I have seen, he is still bearish on real estate.

The real estate purchase is not problem free. Because of the real estate crash, which he predicted, he can't sell his old condo, which is located in the TriBeCa area of Manhattan. Dr Doom even dropped the price, but still no takers. So now, he is going to rent the condo out. Since this is Manhattan, he is asking $7,600 a month in rent for his 1, 300 square condo. (Pics here).

So the big theme that graduate art/film students would have to pull from this avante garde story is what good is an economist that doesn't take his own advice in structuring his own real estate situation? Shouldn't Roubini have rented instead of buying the first condo, so that he would be even more liquid now and be able to buy an even bigger place?

Is Roubini then just a schmuck who didn't take his own advice, or was his warning about the crash just schtick that he didn't really take to heart?

And despite all this, will he come out on top because Bernanke money printing will boost the value of his condo, even though he is bearish on real estate? Is it in the end a case that a Keynesian economist does best when he doesn't follow his own advice? 

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