Niall Ferguson, who earlier we caught calling for the death of Chimerica, wants you to know that not all doomsayers are the same.
This is from a just-published interview in Canada’s The Globe & Mail:
You’ve been lumped in with Nouriel Roubini and some others with strongly bearish sentiments as doom-spreaders making a lot of hay out of the crisis. Is that an unfair criticism?
Well, I like Nouriel a great deal and admire what he’s achieved. But we’ve approached this in very different ways. Nouriel was predicting collapse from as early as 2002, if not before, and his focus was on the current account and the dollar more than the banks. I first raised the spectre of a massive liquidity crisis for highly leveraged U.S. financial institutions in 2006, so I think my timing and focus were a little better. But I was wrong in one respect: I thought a geopolitical event would be the trigger for a massive repricing of risk. Wrong. It happened all by itself, caused by endogenous forces within the financial system.
Roubini has been taking shots from all sides lately. This weekend, Peter Schiff slammed him for not understanding the fundamentals behind the gold rally.
That’s just the price you pay for being the king of the hill.
As for Ferguson’s own outlook, he’s predictably negative.
What’s your outlook for 2010 for both the U.S. and global economies?
U.S. growth will likely be lower than the 3.2 per cent forecast by the administration earlier this year. Growth in the big Asian economies and their trading partners may beat expectations. But this is pure guesswork. Remember: The models used to make forecasts of this sort by the IMF have been largely discredited by the crisis, just like the ‘predictions’ of the stock market.