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Friday, October 5, 2012

Fiddling at the Fire by Nouriel Roubini

PARIS – Financial markets have rallied since July on the hope that the global economic and geopolitical outlook will not worsen, or, if it does, that central banks stand ready to backstop economies and markets with additional rounds of liquidity provision and quantitative easing. So, not only has good – or better-than-expected – economic news boosted the markets, but even bad news has been good news, because it increases the probability that central-banking firefighters like US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will douse the markets with buckets of cash.
But markets that rise on both good and bad news are not stable markets. “Risk-off” episodes, in which investor sentiment sours, are likely to return if economic news worsens and confidence in policymakers’ effectiveness drops.
In the eurozone, euphoria followed the ECB’s decision to provide support with potentially unlimited purchases of distressed countries’ bonds. But the move is not a game changer; it only buys time for policymakers to implement the tough measures needed to resolve the crisis. And the policy challenges are daunting: the eurozone’s recession is deepening as front-loaded fiscal consolidation and severe credit rationing continues. And, as eurozone banks and public-debt markets become increasingly balkanized, establishing a banking union, a fiscal union, and an economic union while pursuing macroeconomic policies that restore growth, external balance, and competitiveness will be extremely difficult. - in Project syndicate
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Nouriel Roubini nicknamed Dr. Doom and lately Dr. Realist by CNBC , is a professor of economics at the Stern School of Business, New York University and chairman of RGE Roubini Global Economics, an economic consultancy firm . Prof. Nouriel Roubini A world-class economist who offers an unflinching look at the global meltdown and distinctive insights into its course going forward. His research on financial crisis in emerging economics has yielded a unique and now vindicated approach to future collapses. Roubini speaks on the global economic outlook and its implications for the financial markets. From his analysis of past collapses of emerging economies, he has identified common factors that support his predictions of crisis in the US and world markets. He has held several high-level advisory positions in the US government and international finance organisations, published numerous policy papers and books on key international macro-economic issues and is regularly cited as an authority in