Rogoff fears 'horrible disaster' for Scotland

The economist who predicted the U.S. housing crisis has told CNBC that Scotland now faces a difficult period for investment regardless of the result of an upcoming independence referendum.

"It's certainly a disaster for Scotland, first and foremost, it's going to be a horrible adjustment," the Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff, who has also served as chief economist and director of research at the International Monetary Fund, said.

"Even if it doesn't pass people are not going to want to invest there because they might do it again. People will migrate out of there."

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Pro-Scottish independence 'Yes Scotland' campaign supporters await the start of a press event on September 8, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert | Getty Images
Pro-Scottish independence 'Yes Scotland' campaign supporters await the start of a press event on September 8, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The uncertainty is also not good for the rest of the United Kingdom, he added, which has seen stellar economic data and has been applauded for being one of the fastest growing G-7 countries since the global financial crash.

It's also not good for the European Union, according to Rogoff, with the possibility of Scotland now joining the bloc meaning that other autonomous communities - like Catalonia in Spain - might also look for their own referendums on independence.

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"Other places in Europe (will) say, 'Hey, we can do that too'," Rogoff said. "So it's certainly quite a wild card there."

Swing in polls

A survey by British research company TNS on Tuesday showed that 38 percent of Scots back independence compared to 39 percent who are opposed. The same poll a month ago had 32 percent in favor of independence and 45 percent opposed.

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With early indications appearing to show the vote is on a knife edge the leaders from the three main political parties - including Prime Minister David Cameron - have opted to miss their weekly debate in Westminster to travel north of the border. They will campaign on behalf of the "no" vote in a last-ditch attempt to effectively save the Union.

At the same time, pro-Unionists are thrashing out a plan to give Scotland more powers if voters reject independence. Sterling has sold off sharply on the uncertainty in recent trading sessions and U.K. banks and Scottish-based firms have also seen a dip in stock prices.

Why aren't investors shorting Scottish stocks?
Why aren't investors shorting Scottish stocks?   

'Utter disarray'

Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party - at the forefront of the pro-Independence campaign - has dubbed the visit by the Westminster leaders as a "last minute panicked reaction."

"The 'no' campaign is in complete and utter disarray, and they are making this farce up as they go along," First Minister Alex Salmond said in a press release on Tuesday.

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"Together, David Cameron, (Labour leader) Ed Miliband and (Liberal Democrat leader) Nick Clegg are the most distrusted Westminster politicians ever - and their collective presence in Scotland will be another massive boost for the 'yes' campaign."

The Scottish independence referendum takes place on 18 September with the result expected on Friday morning.

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