Dire Warning from Nouriel Roubini
When I got a newsletter today with a new article by Nouriel Roubini in my inbox, I nearly had a heart attack. Inside was an absolutely urgent warning.
In February of this year, Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics at the NYU Stern School of Business, presented a paper The Risk of a Systemic Financial Meltdown: 12 Steps to a Financial Disaster.
Roubini's list of 12 steps has consistently nailed each stage of the economic crisis unfolding day after day in front of our eyes. Frankly, it's frightening how accurate Roubini has been to date. Known as Dr. Doom, he presented his ideas to the IMF in September of 2006. At the time, he outlined a series of devastating events:
homeowners defaulting on mortgages, trillions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities unraveling worldwide and the global financial system shuddering to a halt.
In 2006, his presentation was largely dismissed. By February 2008, people were starting to listen.
In today's article, Roubini spells it out in no uncertain terms. This is it.
THIS weekend is the LAST CHANCE to try and divert the crisis.
The world is at severe risk of a global systemic financial meltdown and a severe global depression
By Nouriel Roubini, October 9, 2008
At this point severe damage is done and one cannot rule out a systemic collapse and a global depression. It will take a significant change in leadership of economic policy and very radical, coordinated policy actions among all advanced and emerging market economies to avoid this economic and financial disaster. Urgent and immediate necessary actions that need to be done globally (with some variants across countries depending on the severity of the problem and the overall resources available to the sovereigns) include:
- another rapid round of policy rate cuts of the order of at least 150 basis points on average globally;
- a temporary blanket guarantee of all deposits while a triage between insolvent financial institutions that need to be shut down and distressed but solvent institutions that need to be partially nationalized with injections of public capital is made;
- a rapid reduction of the debt burden of insolvent households preceded by a temporary freeze on all foreclosures;
- massive and unlimited provision of liquidity to solvent financial institutions;
- public provision of credit to the solvent parts of the corporate sector to avoid a short-term debt refinancing crisis for solvent but illiquid corporations and small businesses;
- a massive direct government fiscal stimulus packages that includes public works, infrastructure spending, unemployment benefits, tax rebates to lower income households and provision of grants to strapped and crunched state and local government;
- a rapid resolution of the banking problems via triage, public recapitalization of financial institutions and reduction of the debt burden of distressed households and borrowers;
- an agreement between lender and creditor countries running current account surpluses and borrowing, and debtor countries running current account deficits to maintain an orderly financing of deficits and a recycling of the surpluses of creditors to avoid a disorderly adjustment of such imbalances.
At this point anything short of these radical and coordinated actions may lead to a market crash, a global systemic financial meltdown and to a global depression. The time to act is now as all the policy officials of the world are meeting this weekend in Washington at the IMF and World Bank annual meetings.
It's going to be a long weekend. And it's going to be an even longer week ahead.
Nouriel Roubini's Doomsday Scenario
By Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism, February 2008
Nouriel Roubini gets a medal …
By Brad Setser, Follow the Money, Council on Foreign Relations, August 17, 2008
website of Nouriel Roubini
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And a little something for Halloween...
Nouriel Roubini Halloween Mask
Incakola, October 7, 2008