Wall St. Prognosticator ‘Dr. Doom’ Says the Smartest People Stayed in L.A.

Elon Musk, Joe Rogan and Mark Wahlberg are among 1000s who fled south from CA, but top economist Nouriel Roubini predicts they’ll regret it

If you stayed in Los Angeles during the pandemic, instead of say, fleeing for Austin or Florida like untold hordes of more timid Angelenos—good for you, says Dr. Nouriel Roubini, a New York University economics professor and CEO of Roubini Macro Associates, who correctly predicted the 2008 financial crisis and is often called “Dr. Doom” for his dark view of the financial world. Staying put may have been the smarter choice in the long run, at least as far as real estate and climate change are concerned, predicts the usually gloomy forecaster.

The pandemic’s westward expansion was such high fashion that the New York Times even offered up a breathless piece about how Glee actor Becca Tobin, former child star Haylie Duff, and The Sopranos’ Jamie-Lynn Sigler had decided to move to Austin, Texas as a group when “the pandemic upended Tinseltown.”

Other famous runaways include SpaceX-man Elon Musk, podcast king Joe Rogan and onetime “Funky Bunch” leader Mark Wahlberg, who upon leaving the Golden State for Nevada noted, “I moved to California many years ago to pursue acting and I’ve only made a couple of movies in the entire time that I was there.”

Bad move, Roubini said of those who quit California on Bloomberg’s Odd Lots podcast on Thursday (via Fortune): “Florida is going to be flooded and Texas is going to be too hot to survive there,” he said.

Although running away from California was short-sighted and panicky, it was a very popular decision. For the first time over a century, California lost people in 2020, according to population estimates released by the state.

Roubini went on to say that “a lot of real estate is going to be stranded because of global climate change… People have stupidly moved from New York to Miami, and from San Francisco to Austin, but Florida is going to be flooded and Texas is going to be too hot to survive there.”

Tens of thousand of Americans moved to Florida during the height of the pandemic, and they keep going. But, Roubini prognosticated on the podcast, “Literally there are maps that show that half of the U.S. in the next 20 years is going to be either underwater on the coastlines or too hot, or droughts or wildfires, to be living in it.”

In case that was too subtle, Dr. Doom explained, “So, there will have to be a massive migration from the south and the coastlines towards the only part of the U.S. that is going to survive climate change, [which] is the Midwest into essentially Canada. So there’ll be trillions of dollars of real estate assets that are going to be damaged by essentially global climate change.”

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