In a piece for Al Jazeera entitled “black swan events and the global economy,” NYU economics professor Nouriel Roubini, the “doctor of doom,” has presented a new dark perspective on the current state of global economics. Roubini integrates a number of negative economic metrics and phenomena, including “black swan” events such as the Japanese earthquake and more mundane though far from rosy economic data that challenges the views of economists who are eternally optimistic. While the optimists believe the current negative economic factors are merely hiccups, and equity growth can resume in full force, Roubini warns that the dangers confronting the global economy are chronic, and may lead to a double-dip recession.
On the current Greek debt crisis, Roubini writes, “Global risk-aversion has also increased, as the option of further ‘extend and pretend’ or ‘delay and pray’ on Greece is becoming less desirable, and the specter of a disorderly workout is becoming more likely.”
One of the points Nouriel Roubini makes in his article is that new financial and economic disasters on the scale of 2008 and would leave policymakers empty-handed, as the massive growth in public debt since 2008 leaves them without ammunition in the event of a new series of catastrophes. As Roubini puts it:
“This lack of policy bullets is reflected in most advanced economies’ embrace of some form of austerity, in order to avoid a fiscal train wreck down the line. Public debt is already high, and many sovereigns are near distress, so governments’ ability to backstop their banks via more bailouts, guarantees, and ring-fencing of questionable assets is severely constrained. Another round of so-called ‘quantitative easing’ by monetary authorities may not occur as inflation is rising – albeit slowly – in most advanced economies.”
In essence, Roubini offers a portrayal of the current state of the global economy that is laden with doom and gloom.