Friday, 24 October 2008

Wild ride coming - grab your butt

I saved some time last night to listen to the full Nouriel Roubini talk posted on and the Bloomberg site. Roubini is the New York University economist who was laughed off for years when he warned that a major financial crisis was brewing.

While the insufferable cable-news economic experts insist that now we’ve absolutely, finally reached bottom and it’s time to get back into the stock market, Roubini continues to be pessimistic while patiently waiting for events to catch up to him.

So guess what Roubini says is coming next? At about the 26-minute mark in the lengthy presentation, he drops this bombshell:

Financial markets are becoming completely dysfunctional. . . . The policy-makers are running out of options. . . . It’s a free-fall. There is no liquidity in the system. Everybody is dumping assets. . . . It’s going to get uglier, much worse in the weeks and months ahead. . . .

We’re reaching a situation of sheer panic . . . . They’re going to dump everything. . . . I’ll not be surprised if in the next few weeks the U.S. is going to be forced to close down the stock market because of panic and distressed selling.

Well, there you have it: while John McCain frantically tries to paint his opponent as a bomb-thrower, and Sarah Palin goes shopping at Saks, the entire world economy teeters on the brink.

BTW, someone had a good line on McCain a few days ago: He’s decided he’d rather be president than be John McCain. But that suggests he’s lost a soul of some sort that he has been keeping on ice in the broom closet.

John Dinges at Huffington suggests that he was always an immoral prick. Here’s Dinges’ scoop on McCain’s sympathetic private audience with Pinochet during the worst days of fascist repression in Chile.

So much for no-preconditions sit-downs with dictators.

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