The Sage Counsel of Jim Rogers
On Commodities, Stocks, Bonds, Currencies, Gold, Silver, and the "Idiot Bernanke."
by Andy Mukherjee
Recently by Jim Rogers: Dow 1 Million? Sure, Why Not?
In an exclusive interview with ET NOW , Mr Rogers reiterated his view that a currency crisis could happen any time in the near future. But he's not sure yet who's going to pay the price — pound sterling, US dollar or even the rupee. Excerpts: (Watch)
The commodities rally seems to have paused. The Rogers International Commodity Index has come off 13% since June 12. This pullback, essentially as I can see, is because of tin, energy and silver even as some of those agri commodities like orange juice, sugar and cotton have done well. What are your expectations going forward for commodities?
That's the way I know you know about commodities. You read The Economic Times and your ET TV. So, you know that the markets always have corrections whether they are going up or down. Nothing goes straight up or down forever. So, it's having a normal correction. In my view, the best place to be is in real assets/commodities, because if the world is going to recover, they (commodities) will recover first because of the shortages and if the world economy is not going to recover, they are still the best place to be, because governments around the world are printing huge amounts of money. So, if you got to own something, I don't know much to own besides commodities.
In India, we are getting worried about the monsoon. We are looking out of our windows and not finding any clouds, and there is also talk about El Nino weather formation. Is this something you would advise investors to keep an eye on?
Of course, I would. The world's inventories of food are at the lowest they have been in decades. We haven't have had any serious weather problems around the world for several decades as a matter of fact. So, with fairly good weather, we have been having bad harvest or we have been consuming more than we have been producing. Can you imagine what's going to happen to the price of agriculture if we have bad weather around the world?
The last time we met here in Mumbai you had a sachet of sugar in your pocket and you pulled it out to underscore your point of impending shortage about agri commodities. You have been right about sugar as far as we can see from the price charts. What are you hiding today in your pockets? A silver coin, a hip flask full of crude oil, may be?
I do actually have a silver coin in my pocket. I don't know how you knew. I also have a gold coin, but the silver one is probably my better play. If I were a bright young man, I would be buying sugar now and silver, given the state of the world. That's not a recommendation, but I am just saying I do own some silver. Silver is cheaper than many things on a historic basis and I do own some silver. The dollar has fallen almost 10% since the beginning of the stocks rally in March. Commodities have risen 94% of the time that the dollar has fallen. A very strong correlation. Do we expect the dollar decline and the commodity run-up, therefore, to continue? It's not always a strong correlation. You are right; there has been (a correlation) in recent months, recent years even. But no, there are many times when the dollar and commodities go entirely separate ways. So, don't get it into your head, and I know many times that the press do have it in their head that commodities and dollars go opposite ways. I am not terribly bullish on the dollar in long term. US dollars are a terribly flawed currency and down the road I hope I don't own any US dollars. I still own some of them at the moment, but it's not getting better for the US. The dollar any way is getting worse. The fundamentals for commodities continue to improve. The fundamentals for the US dollar do not continue to improve. They are deteriorating.
Are you still sticking to your prediction of a currency crisis sometime in a year or two?
Yes. The world is full of currency imbalances and economic trade imbalances would have to be resolved or corrected, one way or the other. Unfortunately, given the state of politicians and it's not just the current state of politicians, but politicians throughout history have usually got things wrong. So, we are going to have some problems in the currency market. I don't know when. May be not. I may be wrong. But having seen that sort of thing before in history somebody would have to pay the price whether it's the pound sterling or the US dollar or the rupee, I have no clue. No idea where it's going to stop, but we are going to have problems in the currency markets.
July 15, 2009
Copyright 2009 Economic Times