Permabear speaks. You only thought it had gotten bad

Economist and financial adviser Nouriel Roubini is known to be a permabear, someone who is always pessimistic about the financial markets. However, he accurately predicted the subprime collapse months ago, long before the consensus wisdom did. He’s been consistently right about it ever since too.

His latest post is unsettling.

Liquidity and credit crunch in financial markets is back to summer peaks, only much worse and more dangerous.

Monetary [Fed] policy is impotent in dealing with the problems that a mostly unsupervised and unregulated financial system – as regulators were asleep at the wheel blinded by free market voodoo religious fundamentalism – have created.

Emphasis added. That’s strong language coming from a highly regarded economist. But then, much of this bubble as well as the preceding dot com bubble was presided over by Alan Greenspan, an early and avid follower of Ayn “Greed is good” Rand and her philosophy of extreme selfishness and unregulated markets.

We are thus now observing a severe worsening of conditions in financial markets with a generalized liquidity and credit crunch that will have serious effects on real economies.

The reference to “real economies” means the impact will hit you, me, the places we work and shop at, and more. This is not some esoteric financial episode with no relation to our everyday lives.

BTW, the recent announcement by Gov. Schwarzenegger that four California mortgage lenders will not increase adjustable mortgage rates is, alas, just air. Those mortgage companies, for the most part, no longer own the mortgages, as they’ve been sliced and diced into CDOs and SIVs and sold to whoever. Only the current owner of the mortgage can agree to freeze rates and only if the terms of the debt instruments allow it.