Doctor Doom has become such a cliché nickname for bearish economists that it’s getting meaningless. The headline “DOCTOR DOOM SAYS…” will just confuse people.
But there were times when the nickname referred to one or two legendary economists, whose proclamations could move markets.
The German born American economist Henry Kaufman is the original Dr. Doom, having predicted the 1966 credit crunch while still at Salomon Brothers. In the 70s and 80s he maintained a gloomy outlook on high inflation rates, interest rates and the bond market. On NPR, he said the 2008 crisis is the 'worst recession in the post-World War II period.'
Gary Shilling has been predicted recessions for 50 years, including the 1969 slowdown.
When he predicted the Dot Com crash in 2000, Daily Record said he was 'dubbed by one and all Doctor Doom.'' He also made prominent calls about the housing crash.
Predicting the crash of the world stock market in 1987, on a day that has since come to be known as Black Monday, Marc Faber didn't have to try hard to earn the moniker Dr Doom. In 1988, Asian journalist Nury Vittachi published Doctor Doom - Riding the Millenial Storm - Marc Faber's Path to Profit in the Financial Crisis. Just as well, since he publishes the Gloom Boom & Doom report about global investment opportunities.
Ravi Batra earned his nickname in 1987 when he published The Great Depression Of 1990. The professor of economics at Southern Methodist University got some flak for mixing economics with eastern mysticism.
Andrew Oswald was called the original Dr Doom (false) for predicting the UK housing price crash in the 1990s.
In 2004, the University of Warwick professor also predicted the next housing bubble crash.
'It is our responsibility as economists to speak out when the data are telling us something, even though we may sometimes be wrong or unpopular,' he was quoted saying by The Guardian.
'Cassandra or Dr Doom? Hero or Messiah? ' asked The Irish Times of Morgan Kelly, Professor of Economics at the University College Dublin.
Kelly predicted Ireland's real estate crash in 2006 and published The Irish Credit Bubble in 2009 just as the property bubble popped. He is widely known as The Irish Doctor Doom.
'The public finances in the majority of advanced industrial countries are in a worse state today than at any time since the industrial revolution, except for wartime episodes and their immediate aftermaths,' wrote Citigroup's chief economist Willem Buiter.
According to Zero Hedge, Buiter has predicted there may not be any AAA-rateed sovereigns in the next 5 years if countries like the US and Germany don't tighten their fiscal policy.
He was named the new Dr. Doom by NY Observer in May '10.
'CNBC started calling me 'Dr. Doom' in 2004,' Peter Schiff said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. In 2007 he published Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse and told anyone who listened to get out of the US stock and real estate markets.
Actually the real original Doctor Doom was a Marvel Comics supervillain, created in 1962. He was not an economist.
As far as we can tell, no one before 1962 -- not Malthus nor Marx -- has this nickname.