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Roubini Says `Panic’ May Force Market Shutdown, Fund Failures

Alexis Xydias and Camilla Hall
Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) — Hundreds of hedge funds will fail and policy makers may need to shut financial markets for a week or more as the crisis forces investors to dump assets, New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini said.

“We’ve reached a situation of sheer panic,” Roubini, who predicted the financial crisis in 2006, said at a conference in London today. “There will be massive dumping of assets,” and “hundreds of hedge funds are going to go bust,” he said.

Policy makers delivered global coordinated interest-rate cuts and bailed out banks this month to try and stem the crisis, stopping short of trading suspensions in the Group of Seven industrialized nations. Emmanuel Roman, the co-chief executive officer at GLG Partners Inc., predicted at the same event today that as many as 30 percent of hedge funds will close.



“Systemic risk has become bigger and bigger,” Roubini said at the Hedge 2008 conference. “We’re seeing the beginning of a run on a big chunk of the hedge funds,” and “don’t be surprised if policy makers need to close down markets for a week or two in coming days,” he said.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi roiled international markets on Oct. 10, first saying world leaders were discussing shutting down global financial exchanges, and then saying he didn’t mean it.

`Darwinian’ Crisis