It was a battle of the bears, Round Two, between Nouriel Roubini and Peter Schiff.
"I thought I was 'Dr. Doom until I met Peter," NYU economist Roubini said Wednesday. "Compared to him, I'm 'Dr. Boom.' He has been predicting a collapse of the dollar, gold going through the roof and inflation rising sharply. I just see the opposite. I see the U.S. economy—which, in spite of QE1, QE2, QE3—there's going to be an economic recovery."
While the opening salvos were fired during a panel at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, the rumble continued on CNBC's "Fast Money."
Peter Schiff, the head of Euro Pacific Capital and longtime critic of inflationary central bank policy, held his ground.
"The real point of the argument and the panel was over inflation, over whether it was good or bad. Nouriel's point is that he believes that economies need a certain amount of inflation to grow, and that somehow consumers are better off if the prices of the things that they need and want go up every year," he said.
"And it's my opinion that economies are served by falling prices, by increased production, increased efficiencies, that lower consumer prices, that that's what makes people better off. And I think the idea that central banks need to deliberately create inflation because it's somehow a necessary ingredient to economic growth is wrong. Inflation is actually worsening the problems in the economy."
Roubini said that he saw continued low inflation ahead.
"I'm in favor of low inflation, a target of 2 percent. You were arguing that deflation was good. I was pointing out that in the period of time that we had deflation, the Great Depression, or the stagnation of Japan, in the last 20 years, or what's happening right now in the euro zone where you have deflation and recession, deflation is associated with lack of aggregate demand that implies an economy is in depression," he said. "And therefore, deflation is a symptom of lack of growth and aggregate demand. Why do you think deflation is good? That's nonsense."
Roubini also argued that gold prices would fall and that the U.S. dollar would strengthen.
Schiff brushed off Roubini's arguments.
"Let me give you the facts. Americans use credit cards. They buy things, and they pay 18 percent interest. Why don't they wait a year, save the money and save the 18 percent? Because they want it now," he said. "There is no period in history where consumers have not bought things because they thought the prices would be cheaper. We know the price is going to be cheaper? We all own cellphones. We know if we wait a while, we can get the phone cheaper. But we don't wait because we want it now. This is all nonsense."