Magazine July 5, 2010, Issue

On Looking into the Abyss

RGE Monitor Chairman Nouriel Roubini peaks at the Reuters 2009 Investment Outlook Summit in New York City, June 16, 2009. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance, by Nouriel Roubini and Stephen Mihm (Penguin, 368 pp., $27.95)

It has been a good financial crisis for Nouriel Roubini. The once-obscure New York University economist and former Clinton White House official is now a media superstar, and roams the world advising his consulting firm’s ballooning client base.

The seeds for this transformation were planted in 2006. Roubini warned of a coming disastrous U.S. mortgage crisis. He predicted accurately that a global network of trillions of dollars of U.S. mortgage-backed securities would unravel. This would send the world financial system to the edge. Roubini is now referred to as “Doctor Doom.” This label diminishes his achievements: Four years ago, it took

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Helen Thomas was a fixture — a reporter for 40 years, a columnist for ten — always a plus in Washington. She was a left-wing scold: another plus.

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