Nouriel Roubini failed to disclose his conflict of interest in a crypto testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs where he presented himself as just an academic.
“I am a Professor of Economics at the Stern School of Business at New York University. I am an expert of the global economy,” he said before adding:
“Unlike all self-interested crypto insiders and scammers… I have zero long or short position in any coin or crypto-currency and any blockchain business venture.”
It appears, however, he does have a long or short position in banks through consultancy fees which have earned him an estimated net worth of $17 million. His previous consultancy firm described him as:
“A policy and research consultant at the IMF since 1985, and is a member of many leading policy forums and organizations including the Bretton Woods Committee, the International Roundtable of the Council of Foreign Relations, the NBER and the CEPR.
Nouriel is a consultant for a wide range of policy institutions, Central Banks, and a number of senior executives from major financial institutions.”
Roubini has presented himself as being independent and unbiased where cryptos are concerned, yet has been a consultant for years to “a number of senior executives from major financial institutions,” i.e. banks.
Which ones exactly we could not find, with even the above hidden in archives. Soon after, his “prediction” turned him into some sort of media figure, with his profile changed to far more generic. Now he is widely described as just having worked for the International Monetary Fund, the Federal Reserve, World Bank, and the Bank of Israel.
The World Economic Forum describes him in the present tense as “Consultant to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other public and private institutions.”
They do not detail which private institution, and his Linkedin does not mention his previous work with banks, either central banks or “major financial institutions.”
With his consultancy firm now changing its name, where he is again described as having worked with “prominent public and private-sector institutions” without naming any private sector institution.
His failure to reveal any of the above information to the Senate and the wider public, let alone name what “major financial institutions” he has or currently works for, is arguably very misleading.
That’s especially the case as he argued others are biased, when it looks like he and his firm has been paid by bankers for decades in “consultancy fees.”
His bias, however, did come across loud and clear as the language he often used was more worthy of a trashman or some womanizing party animal, than a professor, but that there was something more substantial to such bias, such as previous “consultancy fees” by major financial institutions, might have not been obvious either to the Senate or to the wider public.
Something Roubini must have known. Making his failure to reveal his work with banks as potentially even intentionally misleading and perhaps purposefully so. That’s especially considering the topic in question: cryptos and blockchain tech, which promise to disintermediate bankers, both private and public.