Nouriel Roubini outlines the 10 forces that can cripple the economy: part 2

Episode 114 of Season 4 of The Scoop was recorded live with The Block's Frank Chaparro and Roubini Macro Associates Chairman and CEO Nouriel Roubini.

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Part one of this two-part special on Nouriel Roubini’s new book, Megathreats, examines how the economy is facing a combination of interconnected phenomena that Roubini believes will result in a severe economic crisis.

Roubini discusses some alternative assets that could gain prominence in the event of a global financial meltdown and explains why he prefers gold over bitcoin in such a situation, among other topics in his book Megathreats: Ten Dangerous Trends That Imperil Our Future, And How to Survive Them.

According to Roubini, the "weaponization" of the U.S. dollar is making it less attractive as a reserve currency:

“We have weaponized the dollar as a tool of national security and foreign policy… If I owe you a billion it is my problem; if I owe you a trillion it is your problem because we could default on those treasuries eventually if there is a conflict…”

Similar to USD, Roubini believes other common reserve currencies such as the euro, yen, pound, and Swiss franc can be similarly weaponized, leaving gold as the only widely held reserve currency that remains a viable option:


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“What's the only other asset that is a liquid asset that can be a reserve currency? … What's the only one that cannot be seized if there are sanctions? It’s gold — as long as you keep it in your own vault.”

Although ardent bitcoin proponents claim BTC has similar properties, Roubini is dismissive of the largest cryptocurrency’s potential to be used legitimately in global commerce. 

“Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies — we know they are not currencies,” Roubini says, “They are not a unit of account, nobody's pricing anything in Bitcoin, they're not scalable means of payment.” 

During this episode Chaparro and Roubini also discuss:

  • How to distinguish between data and narratives
  • Why ‘zombie’ companies and nations are going to be exposed
  • The future impact of climate change on the housing market

This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Tron, Ledn
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About Authors

Davis Quinton is the Director of Podcasts at The Block and runs our flagship podcast called The Scoop, hosted by Frank Chaparro. Since joining The Block as an 'intern' in early 2022, he has worked closely with leaders across departments to translate The Block's written content into engaging multimedia formats. He holds a degree in Social Research & Public Policy from New York University in Abu Dhabi and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Frank Chaparro is Host of The Scoop podcast and Director of Special Projects. He also writes a biweekly newsletter. Chaparro started his career at Business Insider, where he specialized in the intersection of digital assets and Wall Street, market structure, and financial technology. Soon after joining Business Insider out of Fordham University, Chaparro was interviewing top finance and tech executives, including billionaire Mark Cuban, “Flash Boys” star Brad Katsuyama, Cboe Global Markets CEO Ed Tilly, and New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. In 2018, he become a sought after reporter in the crypto world, interviewing luminaries such as Tyler Winklevoss, the cofounder of Gemini, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, and Fundstrat head Tom Lee. For inquiries or tips, email [email protected].


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