The best and worst of Wall Street 2011: Economists

December 12, 2011, 3:00 PM UTC

The outlook for the global economy got a bearish blast of cold air from the Great White North. Alex Konrad

David Rosenberg
Gluskin Sheff

The worse things get, the more accurate David Rosenberg looks. The longtime bear decamped from Merrill Lynch following the Bank of America (BAC) takeover and returned to his home city of Toronto, where he became chief economist at Gluskin Sheff. Since then he has consistently nailed his economic projections, particularly in 2011.

Back in January, when others were looking for signs that the global economy was beginning to rebound, Rosenberg called it a “bear market rally.” He said that yields on 10-year Treasury bonds would plummet. As he later described it, that was sticking his neck out even further than he had in the past. “I said [yields] would melt like a snowball on the sidewalk in Houston in July.”

Consider them melted: In mid-August, yields fell below 2% for the first time ever, where they’ve more or less remained. “Most people are still looking through the lens of a garden-variety business cycle,” Rosenberg says, adding that the economic patterns of history — which would have indicated much stronger GDP growth by now — have to go out the window. His take on 2012? He thinks we’ll get answers — from the presidential elections, Chinese fiscal policy, and the euro — even though they may not be the ones we want. “In 2012,” he says, “the emperor will be disrobed.”

The best and worst of Wall Street 2011

This article is from the December 26, 2011 issue of Fortune.

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