‘We’re headed towards disaster’ if we ignore these risks

In October 2006, Nouriel Roubini predicted that a US housing crash could trigger a recession and a “hard landing” around the world. The economist known as “Dr. Doom,” continued to warn of looming global threats for the decade and a half that followed.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance’s editor-in-chief Monday for the All Markets Summit, Roubini outlined looming risks around the globe, which he also details in his new book, MegaThreats: Ten Dangerous Trends That Imperil Our Future, And How to Survive You.” Those dangers include what he calls a US-China cold war that could get hot; inflation combined with debt instability; and climate change; among other dangers.

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“Right now we face major mega-threats: monetary, social, political, geopolitical, environmental, health, trade and technology,” Roubini said. “If we don’t address them, we’re headed for disaster.”

Nouriel Roubini, Chairman of Roubini Macro Associates LLC and Professor of Economics, Stern School of Business, New York University speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S. May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Nouriel Roubini, Chairman of Roubini Macro Associates LLC and Professor of Economics, Stern School of Business, New York University speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S. May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The economist spoke at length about the dangers of inflation, which rose 8.2% year-on-year in September – well above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. The inflationary environment has brought back memories of the so-called Great Inflation of the 1970s, which led to inflation peaking at 14% in 1980. The so-called Great Moderation followed with relatively stable prices in the following decades.

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“In the book, I find that the era of great moderation, when growth was fine, inflation was low at 2%, is over,” Roubini told Yahoo Finance on Monday. “Now we are entering an era that I refer to as Great Stagflation [a stagnant economy combined with inflation] and debt instability and crisis.”

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Due to his often bleak outlook, Roubini is also known as “Dr. Doom.” But Roubini says his book is a call to action against serious threats to the world.

“I usually say that I’m Dr. am a realist, not Dr. Doom,” remarked Roubini. “I think it’s very important to warn about the risk because so far we’ve kicked the can on the street.”

Dylan Croll is a reporter and researcher at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @CrollonPatrol.

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