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Economist Nouriel Roubini Has Written the Most Important Book of the 21st Century

January 13th, 2023

I have recently read MEGATHREATS, a new book by renowned economist Nouriel Roubini. If this book were fiction, it would be a chilling horror thriller. However, what makes this book far scarier than a horror novel is that it is non-fiction; a deep dive into ten threatening trends and developments, each one of these evolving threats, which the author categorizes as a mega threat, in itself a force that imperils human society. Taken together, as they are interconnected in the author’s analysis, they represent a ten-by-ten matrix, as Roubini has pointed out.

Nouriel Roubini came to public note before the onset of the 2007-09 Global Financial Crisis when he warned about a looming financial disaster triggered by subprime mortgages. For that prognostication, Roubini was dismissively dubbed “Dr. Doom.” History proved that Roubini, who prefers to describe himself as “Dr. Realist,” to have been unerringly prescient in his dire financial and economic forecast.


Sheldon Filger-blogger for GlobalEconomicCrisis.com

In MEGATHREATS, Roubini begins with economic and financial trends that threaten a severe and enduring stagflationary recession for the global economy. He points out that central banks and sovereigns have created what is described as the “mother of all debt crises,” creating debt to GDP levels in advanced economies and China that are far in excess of what occurred during the last great stagflationary recession during the 1970s. Unsustainable debt ratios, combined with negative demographic trends and ill-conceived policies portend a dark and uncertain future for the global economy. Added to this is currency instability, including the weaponization of the U.S. dollar which will likely debilitate its standing as the global reserve currency. Roubini also looks at the phenomenon of cryptocurrencies, which he has long excoriated as being illusionary.

The matrix in MEGATHREATS encompasses other developments that feed into the economic malaise that Roubini convincingly prognosticates on. The emerging cold war between China and the U.S., exacerbated by other revisionist powers, increases geopolitical instability and fractures global supply chains. These developments further add to inflationary pressures which, in the context of negative supply shocks, augments the severity of the coming stagflationary crisis.

Among the other mega threats Roubini explores is the likely impact of climate change, rendering many coastal areas, including in the United States, uninhabitable. Furthermore, the author sees climate change exacerbating the conditions in which pandemicsĀ such as Covid will become far more common. The author also discusses the transformative impact of artificial intelligence or AI and machine learning, which will likely lead to the elimination of vast numbers of human jobs, not only unskilled but also highly skilled, as technological means displace humans.

Nouriel Roubini presents to the reader an ominous but convincing case for a dangerously dystopian and unstable future for human societies globally. Does the author offer any hope humanity can avoid the dire future he lays out with such clarity? He does, principally in the area of technological advancement that could lead to much higher than trend economic growth, which would resolve issues such as sustainability of the massive debt to GDP levels that have been accumulated in advanced economies. However, the tone of the author’s conclusions indicates he is not excessively optimistic that the right policies and developments will occur in an effective timeframe.

Without a doubt, MEGATHREATS is the most important book thus far written in the 21st century. It is a penetrating look into the dystopia that lies ahead, supplanting the long period of relative stability that occurred after the Second World War. The author is not a modern-day Cassandra offering prophecies conjured from a crystal ball; he is one of the most impressive intellectual minds of our era, offering deep analytical insights into the dark global malaise that is unfolding. As he states in the book’s epilogue, “the snooze button invites catastrophe.”

MEGATHREATS should be required reading for every policymaker on the planet.




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