Nouriel Roubini was mocked by the media — who christened him “Dr Doom” — because of his prescient warnings ahead of the 2008 global financial crisis.
He has now published a book identifying 10 mega-threats to the global economy.
First and foremost is the debt trap. Private and public debt has expanded from 100% of GDP in the 1970s, to 200% by 1999, 350% last year — advanced economies even higher at 420%, China at 330%. Inflation forces central banks to raise interest rates. High rates mean many debtors will be unable to repay.
If governments print money to bail out the economy they will cause further inflation — a tax on creditors and savers [negative real rates threaten collapse of the insurance and pension industry].
We face prolonged high inflation.
Central Banks hiking rates is misguided, economic crisis will be so damaging they will be forced to reverse course.
Supply shocks from pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war and China zero-COVID policy.
Fiscal deficits will rise due to increased spending on national security and reducing carbon emissions.
Twenty years of kicking the can down the road [short election cycle incentivizes this], with politicians unwilling to support short-term costs for long-term gain because they are unlikely to be in power to reap the rewards. Older voters are also unlikely to support change as they may not be around to reap the benefits.
Carbon emissions are increasing due to the energy crisis from Russia-Ukraine war. Carbon tax of $200/tonne required, currently $2.
We need to reduce our energy consumption.
Also increase productivity. Technology is the only solution. AI and automation could lift GDP growth, providing sufficient income to fund the changes needed.
But technology is also a threat. It provides more dangerous weapons which risk greater destruction in the next conflict.
Democracy is still the best system. Autocracies are often corrupt and way too much concentration of power [echo chamber] leads to mistakes. They also increase inequality and political instability.
Nouriel seems bullish on gold because of geopolitical tensions. Also “green metals” because of the need to reduce CO2 emissions.