Monday, July 13, 2009

Bloomberg News

The complete show

If you're going to watch one hour of TV about the economy this month, this should be it.

Nouriel Roubini (born on March 29, 1959) is a professor of economics at the Stern School of Business, New York University and chairman of RGE Monitor, an economic consultancy firm. After receiving his B.A. in Political Economics from Bocconi University and his doctorate in international economics from Harvard University, he began academic research and policy-making by teaching at Yale while also spending time at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Federal Reserve, World Bank and Bank of Israel. Much of his early studies were focused on emerging-market countries. During President Bill Clinton’s administration he was a senior economist for the Council of Economic Advisers later moving to the United States Treasury Department as a senior adviser to Timothy Geithner who is now Treasury Secretary.

Fortune magazine, in 2008, wrote that "in 2005 Roubini said home prices were riding a speculative wave that would soon sink the economy. Back then the professor was called a Cassandra. Now he's a sage."

In September, 2006, he warned to a skeptical IMF that "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 also foresaw "homeowners defaulting on mortgages, trillions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities unraveling worldwide and the global financial system shuddering to a halt." The New York Times labeled him "Dr. Doom." In hindsight, IMF economist Prakash Loungani has called him "a prophet."

Because his descriptions of the current economic crisis have proven to be accurate, he is today a major figure in the U.S. and international debate about the economy and spends much of his time shuttling between meetings with central bank governors and finance ministers in Europe and Asia."[2]. Although he is ranked only 410th in terms of lifetime academic citations, Prospect Magazine in January, 2009, voted him #2 on its "list of the world’s 100 greatest living public intellectuals." He has recently appeared before Congress, the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Economic Forum at Davos. He was recently named "Bocconiano dell'Anno", the most important Alumni award of Bocconi University.

Nouriel Roubini was born in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 29, 1959. The child of Iranian Jewish parents, his family moved to Tehran, Iran, when he was two. He later lived in Israel and Italy to attend college and moved to the United States to pursue his business doctorate in international economics at Harvard University. He is currently a U.S. citizen and speaks English, Farsi, Italian, and Hebrew.

Roubini spent one year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem before moving to Italy and receiving his B.A., summa cum laude, in Economics from the Bocconi University (Milan) in 1982. He received his Ph.D. in international economics from Harvard University in 1988. According to his academic advisor, Jeffrey Sachs, he was unusual in his talent with both mathematics and intuitive understanding of economic institutions.

For much of the 1990s, Roubini combined academic research and policy-making by teaching at Yale and then in New York, while also spending time at the International Monetary Fund, the Federal Reserve, World Bank and Bank of Israel. Currently, he is a professor at the Stern School of Business at New York University.

He spent much of his time working on emerging-market blowouts in Asia and Latin America which helped him spot the looming disaster in the U.S. "I’ve been studying emerging markets for 20 years, and saw the same signs in the U.S. that I saw in them, which was that we were in a massive credit bubble," he said.

By 1998 he had attracted the attention of President Bill Clinton’s administration, joining it first as a senior economist in the White House Council of Economic Advisers and then moving to the Treasury department as a senior adviser to Timothy Geithner, then the undersecretary for international affairs and now Treasury secretary in the Obama administration.

Roubini returned to the IMF in 2001 as a visiting scholar while it battled a financial meltdown in Argentina. He co-wrote a book on saving bankrupt economies entitled Bailouts or Bail-ins? and opened his own consulting firm.

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