Posts Tagged ‘Bloomberg’

Someone Who Predicted the Financial Crisis

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

where can i buy Clomiphene and nolvadex “There is nowhere to hide,” Roubini, an economics professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business http://tacticalimaging.com/2014/02/nevada-uav-test-site/ who predicted the financial crisis, said from Zurich in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We have for the first time in decades a global synchronized recession. Markets have become perfectly correlated and economies are also becoming perfectly correlated. This is not your kind of traditional minor recession.” [my emphasis

Nouriel Roubini was one of the economists whose analysis I latched onto in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. His writing makes a lot of sense, especially recently. But I’m sure I’m not the only person tired of hearing people identified as someone “who predicted the financial crisis.”

Many of these people who “predicted the financial crisis” have been predicting the financial crisis we are now seeing every year since the 1980s. Specifically, I’m thinking of Michael Lewis and Nassim Nicholas Taleb – both of whom were in the finance industry in the 1980s and got out while the going was good – and then went on to write about it’s unsustainability. They were right that the Wall Street boom was unsustainable and built on shakey foundations. But they obviously missed something in what was going on as the boom continued for many years. In other words, they were right in the end, but wrong for quite some time. Their insight allowed them to see moral problems that would come back to haunt us but had little practical effect in terms of predicting the future – including this crisis.

All this is less true of Roubini though who famously did predict with some precision what has happened – and did so in a timely fashion. As the New York Times described his 2006 presentation to the IMF:

On Sept. 7, 2006, Nouriel Roubini, an economics professor at New York University, stood before an audience of economists at the International Monetary Fund and announced that a crisis was brewing. In the coming months and years, he warned, the United States was likely to face a once-in-a-lifetime housing bust, an oil shock, sharply declining consumer confidence and, ultimately, a deep recession. He laid out a bleak sequence of events: homeowners defaulting on mortgages, trillions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities unraveling worldwide and the global financial system shuddering to a halt. These developments, he went on, could cripple or destroy hedge funds, investment banks and other major financial institutions like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

What Michael Lewis and Nassim Nicholas Taleb did was correctly point to an unsustainability in our system – but their insights haven’t had the same predictive value as Roubini’s.

Stirring Up Trouble

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Kevin Hassett in an opinion piece for Bloomberg calls on Obama to rein in Pelosi and try to bring in the spirit of bipartisanship that Obama talked about so much. He even compares Obama’s calls to civility (while running a civil campaign) to George W. Bush’s calls for civility (while running an exceptionally dirty campaign, especially against his Republican opponents.) Hassett is outraged that Nancy Pelosi said – to the Republicans who were threatening to vote against the stimulus bill:

Yes, we wrote the bill. Yes, we won the election.

How uncivil of her! Hassett continues:

If [Obama] wants to fulfill the promise of his rhetoric, he should take Pelosi to the woodshed and insist that she include Republicans, collegially, in the process. He should stand up to his party and threaten to veto a bill if it fails to make reasonable concessions to his friends across the aisle. He should advise his own staff to begin returning the phone calls of senior Republican aides.

Contrast Hassett’s hissy fit about how the Republicans in Congress are being marginalized with the comments of these Republicans themselves:

“If [the] President carries this on it does open door for a new tone!” – Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.)

“Sharp differences are muted.” – Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas)

“President Obama is speaking to House Republicans right now on Democratic stimulus bill. Good sales man, bad product.” – Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)

There are complaints about how the Democratic majority is running the process on the Hill – and Obama should look into that. I think an open and fair process should be the standard no matter which party is in control. But the situation is nothing like Hassett’s piece suggests – as Rahm Emanuel’s outreach to Republicans also demonstrates. It makes it seem like Hassett is just trying to build a meme to use against Obama later.

Meanwhile, Congressman Tom Price has told Rush Limbaugh to back off:

…it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party. You know you’re just on these talk shows and you’re living well and plus you stir up a bit of controversy and gin the base and that sort of that thing….

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