Nouriel Roubini, otherwise known as Dr. Doom, was interviewed on CNBC Asia today where he outlined his views on the world economy. As usual he continued his warnings about significant issues facing the global economy. His arguments on the theme that denial of a deleveraging world is a dangerous position to take was as always, very thoughtful.
Still, it would appear that, if one reads carefully through his recent printed comments and stated views, it does appear that he is entertaining the idea that there's some hope amidst the global carnage.
(Watch the full Nouriel Roubiniinterview on the left)
He mentioned in a recent commentary that there is no denying shreds of evidence that stabilization is occurring. "So there may be finally light at the end of the tunnel but later rather than sooner, in 2010 rather than in the second half of 2009".
Ok, not positive, but not overtly gloomy as well. While his overall theme remains one of caution, it would appear that Dr. Doom is seeing some green shoots despite his focus on the dangers of bare ground.
An important lesson should be kept in mind as you read and digest expert views. Those that believe strongly in their view should not ignore the validity that alternative perspectives bring to the debate. Mr. Roubini admitted as much when responding to a question on CNBC about how his position might be incorrect.
"The risk to my thesis is that the upside is more positive than I expect," Roubini said. In fact. his comments on CNBC, that some banks may be able to earn their way out of their balance sheet problems, underscores the evolution of his perspective as more data becomes available. Yes, he discounts the stress tests as being not stressful enough, but he recognizes that ALL is not gloomy.
The recent rally in equity markets neither proves or disproves his viewpoint. The two-month equity market rally is either a bear market bounce or the beginning of the next bull market.
Regardless of which it turns out to be, looking at competing arguments is helpful as you assess what you believe about economic conditions. And your opinion matters.
And assessing the competing arguments from Jim Cramer to Nouriel Roubini will allow you to make your own judgment. No one has a corner on truth. Listen with a thoughtful and critical perspective and make your own conclusions. And remember that just because someone was right once before doesn't make them right permanently.
Michael A. Yoshikami, Ph.D., CFP®, is Founder, President, and Chief Investment Strategist of YCMNET Advisors, Inc., a registered investment advisory firm (www.ycmnet.com). Michael oversees all investment and research activities of YCMNET. He is a respected lecturer speaking frequently on market issues, tactical asset allocation, and investment strategy. He appears regularly on CNBC and CNBC Asia and can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.