Nouriel Roubini, Professor Emeritus of Economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business, is Chief Economist at Atlas Capital Team, CEO of Roubini Macro Associates, Co-Founder of TheBoomBust.com, and author of MegaThreats: Ten Dangerous Trends That Imperil Our Future, and How to Survive Them (Little, Brown and Company, 2022). He is a former senior economist for international affairs in the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton Administration and has worked for the International Monetary Fund, the US Federal Reserve, and the World Bank. His website is NourielRoubini.com, and he is the host of NourielToday.com.
In recent weeks, the global liquidity and credit crunch that started last August has become more severe. This is easy to show: in the United States, the euro zone, and the United Kingdom, spreads between Libor interest rates (at which banks lend to each other) and central bank interest rates – as well as government bonds – are extremely high, and have grown since the crisis began. This signals risk aversion and mistrust of counterparties.
To be sure, major central banks have injected dozens of billions of dollars of liquidity into the commercial banking sector, and the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, and the Bank of Canada have lowered their interest rates. But worsening financial conditions prove that this policy response has failed miserably.
So it is no surprise that central banks have become increasingly desperate in the face of the most severe crisis since the advent of financial globalization. The recent announcement of coordinated liquidity injections by the Fed and four other major central banks is, to be blunt, too little too late.
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