Reuters blog archive
When it comes to predicting a dark future, Nouriel Roubini – the NYU economist who earned the moniker Dr. Doom after he correctly predicted the financial crisis – is not about to let anyone get in his way.
Even if it’s his host. And even, or maybe especially, when there are 500 witnesses.
That’s precisely what happened Wednesday morning, when Michael Milken – the former junk-bond king – shared the stage with Roubini at Milken’s Global Conference. What was billed as an interview in one of the Beverly Hilton’s grand ballrooms had the feel of a pitched battle.
Roubini warned of a massive oil shock following a potential clash between Iran and Israel – or possibly the United States, sometime after the November presidential elections. He talked about geopolitical instability in the Middle East. “It’s a mess,” he said.
It was fun to watch. Nouriel Roubini, NYU economist and crisis personality, was one of just five carefully selected individuals at a large gathering in the International Monetary Fund HQ1 building’s towering atrium who actually got to ask questions of the policymakers on stage.
Roubini was characteristically biting in his critique of conventional orthodoxy, singling out the European Central Bank for not having done enough to stem the euro zone’s two-year financial crisis. He challenged the notion that the ECB is powerless to boost growth further, suggesting -- to the clear discomfort of some policymakers in the room -- that measures to weaken the currency could provide a badly-needed boost to exports: