'Dr. Doom' needs a new nickname

Economist Nouriel Roubini, known as "Dr. Doom" for his pessimistic views on the economy over the last few years, may need a new nickname. The New York University professor has become almost as optimistic as that ant who can move a rubber tree plant in the classic tune "High Hopes."

According to Bloomberg News, "stocks rose for a fourth day as economist Nouriel Roubini said the worst of the financial crisis is over and the recession will end this year, while takeover speculation lifted commodity shares." All of the major stock indexes are trading up this afternoon.

After trading came word from the economist that he was misunderstood.
"Despite those reports -- however -- my views expressed today are no different than the views I have expressed previously," he is quoted as saying. "If anything my views were taken out of context."

Roubini argues that he has said on "numerous" occasions that the recession would last about 24 months and the U.S. is in month 19 of the downturn.

"If as I predicted the recession is over by year end, it will have lasted 24 months with a recovery only beginning in 2010," he said. "Simply put I am not forecasting economic growth before year's end."

Roubini is not clicking his heels together in ecstasy just quite yet. Reuters notes that he believes that the U.S. may need another stimulus bill worth around $200 billion and $300 billion at the end of the year. He expects the U.S. to avoid the economic stagnation seen in Japan in the 1990s.

Roubini's sentiment is in the mainstream of economists. Many have predicted that the economy will rebound around September. There already are signs of a turnaround in the housing sector though hard-hit states such as Florida, California and Nevada remain week.

Tech stocks, including Google Inc. (GOOG) and International Business Machine Corp. (IBM), rose ahead of their earnings reports. Better-than-expected results failed to push up shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) as investors worried about loan loss reserves. CIT Group Inc. (CIT) fell on concerns about a possible bankruptcy.

The market action today shows that Roubini needs a new nickname. He may be no more pessimistic than other economists. The problem is that "Dr. Doom" is really catchy, sounding like a villain who fights Superman for control of Metropolis.

I tried to think of a new nickname for Roubini but it was tough going.

Motley Crue has already got "Dr. Feelgood" and CNBC has got "the Econ Recon." Dr. Sunshine is a urologist in Long Island, NY. "Dr. wishy-washy" did not cut it either.

Since my ideas stunk, I am hoping to hear from readers. Please give us some suggestions in the comments.
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