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September 13, 2010

Economic Doomsday? Dr. Doom Thinks So, And He's Got Company

Roubini -- "Doctor Doom," because of his frequent (but frequently accurate) predictions of economic disaster -- thinks we're in trouble.

Economists peddling dire warnings that the world's number one economy is on the brink of collapse, amid high rates of unemployment and a spiraling public deficit, are flourishing here.

The guru of this doomsday line of thinking may be economist Nouriel Roubini, thrust into the forefront after predicting the chaos wrought by the subprime mortgage crisis and the collapse of the housing bubble.

"The US has run out of bullets," Roubini told an economic forum in Italy earlier this month. "Any shock at this point can tip you back into recession."

But other economists, who have so far stayed out of the media limelight, are also proselytizing nightmarish visions of the future.

One scenario is simply the US and China getting into a beef, and China calling in debt, and the US printing money (the only way to satisfy that debt), and then high inflation or even hyperinflation.

Not mentioned: What happens if/when oil spikes again?

Leading Economic Indicator? Obama merchandise sales are now in the crapper.

Goolsbee: High Unemployment Is The New Normal. At Hot Air, no light at the end of the Obama tunnel.

GOOLSBEE: But I don’t think the unemployment rate will be coming down significantly anytime in the near future.

WALLACE: Do you think it will — you’ll be — it’s now 9.6 percent. End of this year?

GOOLSBEE: I don’t — look, I try to stay out of the specific forecasting games other than our official forecast. I think it’s clear that the labor market is significantly weakened, has been for some time. We have to do everything we can to try to create jobs and get people back to work.

WALLACE: Could it be 10 percent by the end of the year?

GOOLSBEE: Look, as I say, I’m not going to speculate. We have official forecasts and we’ll release them when they come out.

WALLACE: But you don’t expect…

GOOLSBEE: We need to do everything…

WALLACE: … it to go down appreciably from…

GOOLSBEE: I don’t expect it to go down appreciably. That’s what — our forecast, and most of the private forecasts say the same thing.

This is crass, but if there isn't a strong recovery already blooming by May 2012, he can't win. Even if it comes after that, he can't win, in all likelihood.

And it's going to be close, isn't it? 2011 is now all but written off. Only -- this is weird -- the Republican Congress can now save Obama, by letting business know that Hope and Change is dead and it's safe to begin hiring and investing again.

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posted by Ace at 03:37 PM

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