Wikinvest Wire

Nouriel Roubini - playboy economist

Sunday, December 28, 2008

This story is rather old, but it's the first I've heard it, something that wouldn't have happened if not for this mostly flattering piece in the Financial Times in which Nouriel Roubini is referred to as a "playboy economist", the picture below from Gawker confirming such.
IMAGE The big smile on Dr. Doom's face notwithstanding, it seems that a dust up began two months ago when Nick Denton at Gawker penned The Secret Pleasures of Dr. Doom, in which, the social life of the renowned New York economist was chronicled.

As short excerpt:

The image of Dr. Doom may satisfy the needs of the media and partygoers this Halloween—but Roubini is anything but dour. The 50-year-old Iranian-Jewish economist is a promiscuous Facebook friend who draws a cosmopolitan crowd to the frequent parties at his Tribeca loft—an apartment with walls indented with plaster vulvas, incidentally.

Things degraded rapidly from there as this search at Gawker reveals. A few of the highlights are shown below:

10/15 - Credit Crunch's Dr. Doom Is A Facebook Stalker
10/16 - 'Nick Denton Is An Anti-Semite With A Nazi Mind'
10/16 - Let's Go Over the Rules of Internet Microfeuds Again
10/17 - Journalists Are 'Bunch of Wimps' Blackmailed By Gawker, Says Dr. Meltdown

Lots of interesting reading there with many more photos...

As for the Financial Times piece, it now all seems rather odd. What is apparently the first in a series of articles dubbed "Faces of the Crisis", the retelling of Nouriel Roubini's involvement in the 2008 financial crisis begins with his personal life:
In the buzzy, scruffy warren of offices in New York from which Nouriel Roubini runs his economics aggregration and commentary website, one of the young cyber-serfs has taped a New York Post story about the boss to the chalky wall. “NYU Playboy Warns: Econ Party’s Over”, the sub-heading declares, next to a photograph of a smiling, open-shirted Mr Roubini, sandwiched between two attractive young women.

Not so long ago, the phrase “playboy economist” would have been a joky oxymoron, likely to feature in satirical lists alongside “selfless hedge fund manager” and (at least before the US surge in Iraq) “military intelligence”. But, in a sign that practitioners of the dismal science are among the few beneficiaries of the global economic meltdown, this crisis has transformed the 50-year-old New York University professor from a respected academic economist into a minor celebrity.

Mr Roubini, who offered one of the first and most nuanced predictions of the financial and economic crash, is ambivalent about the personal scrutiny his fame has attracted. After Nick Denton, founder of the Gawker website, first pointed to the contrast between the economist’s “Dr Doom” public persona and his party-going private life, Mr Roubini sent Mr Denton a Facebook message in which he declared: “I work very, very hard and I also enjoy life . . . To paraphrase Seinfeld: anything wrong with that?”
The rest of the commentary is about what you might expect including comments by billionaire philanthropist George Soros and Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive at Pimco, who, for all I know may be two of Nouriel's "wingmen" along with Barney Stinson.


donny said...

Looks like a simple misunderstanding. Denton provides a link to Roubini's wikipedia page, with "50 year old Iranian Jewish economist" as the name of the link, and also another link named "promiscuous Facebook friend." Both links show in red; to show that they are links, but if you're not paying attention, it looks like both are in red to emphasize; like "Iranian-Jewish" and `promiscuous Facebook friend` are both accusations or something. Both of these guys oughta be smarter than this.

Anonymous said...

Just seeing him smiling is enough to creep me out. Like he's some kind of Jekyll and Hyde.

Aaron Krowne said...

This is all a useful distraction from the point that Roubini even lagged us totally independent bloggers (that is non-academic establishment).

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