The Business On... Meredith Whitney, Founder, Meredith Whitney Advisory Group


I'm scared

The mention of her name does that. She is the most famous bear on Wall Street. Whatever you think is the scariest prediction on the solvency of the banks/the collapse of US house prices/job prospects in the finance industry, Ms Whitney will tell you it is going to be worse.



Not one of life's optimists, then?

It's not pathological. She just does a lot of research. People have been taking notice ever since October 2007, when she predicted Citigroup, the most significant bank in the US, would run out of money to pay its dividend.



Well she was right about that – and then some.

Indeed, and the plain-speaking manner of her delivery marks her out in an industry of wafflers. She's been nicknamed the Dollar Dominatrix for her stridency. She is married to a former professional wrestler, so go analyse.



Where does she come from?

When she made the Citigroup prediction, she was banking sector analyst at Oppenheimer & Co, a middling investment bank. She learnt her craft there at the knee of Steve Eisman. He wasn't famous before the crisis, either, but he is one of the heroes of the Michael Lewis book The Big Short, about the Wall Street misfits who saw the credit crisis coming and made a fortune betting against the banks.



With the economy recovering, presumably she is less bearish?

Ha ha. Absolutely not. In fact she is predicting the next financial crisis, the next $1 trillion government bailout, and a new era of economic misery.



Told you I was scared

She says local government finances in the US remind her of the banks before the crisis. She predicts a wave of bond defaults by cities that will ripple through the banking industry, while the mightiest state economies from California down will be crippled by a budget crisis.



Yikes. What can we do?

Hope she's wrong. For the first time.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam