4. Nouriel Roubini
for accurately forecasting the global financial pandemic.
Economist | New York University | New York
Sometimes it takes a crisis to turn a madman into a prophet. And that's just what has happened to New York University economist Nouriel Roubini, known fondly by economy-watchers as Dr. Doom. When he predicted back in 2006 that the bursting of the housing bubble would decimate global credit markets, causing a broad, international recession, he sounded crazy, IMF economist Prakash Loungani told the New York Times. Not so after 2007: "He was a prophet when he returned."
Today, "prophet" is certainly an apt word for the gloomy man who is perhaps the world's most sought-after economic advisor. Central bankers have come to appreciate his ability to peer around dark corners of the global economy, seeing potential busts where others see booms. As his NYU colleague Tunku Varadarajan put it, he's "the nearest thing to a rock star among the economists."
"Last year's worst-case scenarios came true. The global financial pandemic that I and others had warned about is now upon us. But we are still only in the early stages of this crisis. My predictions for the coming year, unfortunately, are even more dire: The bubbles, and there were many, have only begun to burst." --Roubini, Foreign Policy, January 2009
Read more: "Market Riot," By Noam Scheiber
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