scholars and rogues

Who put the vavoom in Doctor Doom?

You’ve probably heard of the “New York University professor credited with calling the current economic collapse and a ubiquitous presence on financial-news shows who continues to forecast gloom and doom.” Why, it’s Nouriel Roubini, of course, as he’s described in profile by Helaine Olen.

Thanks in no small part to Dr. Roubini’s prognosticating abilities, his business, RGE, is booming. Its website is thriving and he’s branched out from New York to Hong Kong and London with more international offices due to open. Nor does it hurt that, as described by Ms. Olen, he’s a one-man PR agency. Meanwhile, few are aware that Dr. Roubini also keeps up with the social whirl, frequently throwing parties and consorting with younger women.

Ms. Olen again:

Roubini’s Facebook presence brought the media-gossip blog Gawker into the Roubini story last fall. In a post called “The Secret Pleasures of Dr. Doom,” Nick Denton, the site’s founder, flagged what he saw as a disconnect between Roubini’s “gloomy public image” and “his playboy lifestyle”: “The 50-year-old Iranian-Jewish economist is a promiscuous [sic] Facebook friend who draws a cosmopolitan crowd to the frequent parties at his Tribeca loft — an apartment with walls indented with plaster vulvas, incidentally.”…

[Despite the criticism, Roubini] can’t help himself: After Gawker cheekily noted that both he and dating columnist Julia Allison were going to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, he made sure to be photographed with her there. Gawker’s dry comment: “Nouriel Roubini partying with intellectual peers.”

Because there’s no indication that they’re dating, one can’t truthfully claim that Ms. Allison is the one who put (or keeps recharged) the vavoom in Dr. Doom. For those unfamiliar with New York City, Julia Allison is one of its most, uh, unique celebrities. In fact, she’s given new meaning to the concept of “being famous for being famous.”

A Wired article from last year, Internet Famous: Julia Allison and the Secrets of Self-Promotion, tells you all you need to know about her:

Her new Web site, — like her previous sites,,, and [No, Wired is not making that up. — Ed.] — is dedicated to sharing almost every waking moment of Allison’s life. Visitors to can follow her schedule of bachelorette parties and fancy dinners, see photos of her latest outfits, and read her dating advice.

As for the vulvas, Dr. Roubini is, in fact a serious art collector. Anyway, you can see them — and Ms. Allison — here.

Hey, the life of a prophet is awash in toil and trouble. Who can blame Dr. Roubini for enjoying the company of a breezy companion to take his troubles away?

Categories: scholars and rogues

1 reply »

  1. Pimp, player, and money maker…but you can call him Dr. Doom.

    I was expecting larger vulvas…i’m not sure why. I’d never heard of this Juliajuliajulia person, and it only took one picture to make me glad that i hadn’t. I’ll go crawl back under my rock now.

    I did learn that the quilt in the upper-right corner of the picture is made from found drug bags and Philly cigar wrappers…that’s way cooler than the girl and the vulvas put together.

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