Jeff Smith 2 p.m., Dec. 18
Economist Who Correctly Called Downturn Leaves Bank of America
This announcement sounds like an economist getting punished for having the courage and intelligence to be right. David Rosenberg, economist for Merrill Lynch, (and for Bank of America after it purchased the Wall Street firm), is leaving the bank to join a Toronto firm. Rosenberg was one of the first economists to foresee the housing bust. He perceived the excessive debt and how it would lead to a collapse in consumer spending, as well as international instability. He saw the excessive speculation by financial institutions, and predicted the effects. He is one of the three economists who foresaw the current turmoil, along with A. Gary Shilling and Nouriel Roubini of New York University. It has not been said that Rosenberg was shoved out, but it certainly looks like it.