On Sunday, a single raven fell from the sky into the offices of the Daily News and died. Thus editors knew it was time to run the latest terror-filled missive from the world's most depressing economist, Nouriel Roubini.
Yet again, Nouriel Roubini inspires in us a palpable fear using nothing but words and numbers with his latest column in the Daily News. Only this time, he specifically targets those 15.7 million unemployed Americans who would dare believe that they might once again be productive members of society:
Think the worst is over? Wrong....
The last recession ended in November 2001, but job losses continued for more than a year and half until June of 2003; ditto for the 1990-91 recession.
So we can expect that job losses will continue until the end of 2010 at the earliest. In other words, if you are unemployed and looking for work and just waiting for the economy to turn the corner, you had better hunker down. All the economic numbers suggest this will take a while. The jobs just are not coming back.
Roubini has completed his transformation into a vampire who feeds on the hopes and dreams of the unemployed in order to fund his personal International Hunnietary Fund. What better time to look back on the myriad ways he has for the past year informed us that America has no more money and never will again?
ABANDON HOPE, ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE
$7 trillion — including commercial real estate loans, consumer credit-card debt and high-yield bonds and leveraged loans — is at risk of losing much of its value. Then there are trillions more in high-grade corporate bonds and loans and jumbo prime mortgages, whose worth will also drop precipitously as the recession deepens and more firms and households default on their loans and mortgages.
Even if appropriate aggressive policy actions were undertaken... the growth rate would not rise closer to 2 percent until 2011. So this recession may last 36 months.
And things could get worse. We now face a 1 in 3 chance that, if appropriate policies are not put in place, this ugly U-shaped recession may turn into a more virulent L-shaped near-depression or stag-deflation (a deadly combination of economic stagnation and price deflation) like the one Japan experienced in the 1990s after its real estate and equity bubbles burst.
[The government's] overall message is that the sector is in pretty good shape.
This would be good news if it were credible. But the International Monetary Fund has just released a study of estimated losses on U.S. loans and securities. It was very bleak — $2.7 trillion, double the estimated losses of six months ago. Our estimates at RGE Monitor are even higher, at $3.6 trillion, implying that the financial system is currently near insolvency.
one day this bubble will burst, leading to the biggest co-ordinated asset bust ever: if factors lead the dollar to reverse and suddenly appreciate – as was seen in previous reversals, such as the yen-funded carry trade – the leveraged carry trade will have to be suddenly closed as investors cover their dollar shorts. A stampede will occur as closing long leveraged risky asset positions across all asset classes funded by dollar shorts triggers a co-ordinated collapse of all those risky assets.
(That last one is only scary if you know what a "carry trade" is—but then it's really terrifying.)