Roubini Clarifies His ‘Optimism’

The man referred to as ‘Dr. Doom’ has been sounding a little more optimistic in the last 6 weeks, but he explains in this piece why mistaken policy responses will drag out the effects of our current economic crisis for at least a decade.

In short, Roubini argues that we should have ‘delevered’ by converting corporate and consumer debt into equity, but instead we just moved this debt to the government’s balance sheet, increasing total Federal obligations from from 40% to 80% of GDP. The increased debt burden will impose a tax of 3% GDP (around $450 billion), reducing productive public spending and crowding out private investment (and that’s before factoring in the unfunded obligations of Social Security, Medicare and a deteriorating national infrastructure).

You don’t have to read all the way to his fears of a W-shaped recession to convince yourself that canned goods, ammunition and field dressings are still your best-performing assets.

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