It seems to be open season on Morgan Stanley's Stephen Roach, the banks London-based chief international economist. Two weeks ago the National Post's David Berman laid into him, and today Rich Karlgaard labels him "Wall Street's Worst Economist."
Who else but Morgan Stanley’s Stephen Roach? In November 2004, he said the U.S. had “no better than a 10% chance of avoiding economic Armageddon.” Since then the economy grew about 4% annually. This kind of shocking error has been, alas, typical of Roach. Since the recession of 2001-2002, Roach has been unremittingly bearish. He was last bullish in, no kidding,1999. Don’t bet on Roach, in other words.
We're not ready to jump on the anti-Roach bandwagon, even after a former collegue told us that "Roach is more of a marketing thing these days. No one invests on his advice." Whenever we're tempted to dismiss Roach we remember his article arguing that Tom Friedman's 'The World Is Flat" thesis was just plain wrong. Check it out. Roach comes off like a Matt Taibbi you could invite to dinner with your mother.
Wall Street's Worst Economist [Digital Rules at Forbes.com]