by Adam Taggart Peak Prosperity
Jim Rogers decries the growing uncertainty and recklessness of global central planners as the world enters unchartered financial markets:
For the first time in recorded history, we have nearly every central bank printing money and trying to debase their currency. This has never happened before. How its going to work out, I don’t know. It just depends on which one goes down the most and first, and they take turns. When one says a currency is going down, the question is against what? because they are all trying to debase themselves. Its a peculiar time in world history.
I own the dollar, not because I have any confidence in the dollar and not because its sound its a terribly flawed currency but I expect more currency turmoil, more financial turmoil. During periods like that, people, for whatever reason, flee to the U.S. dollar as a safe haven. It is not a safe haven, but it is perceived that way by some people. Thats why the dollar is going up. Thats why I own it. Will I own it in five years, ten years? I don’t know.
It makes it extremely difficult for the investor looking for acceptable risk/reward, or the saver looking to protect their purchasing power; as in Rogers’ view, all options have their problems:
I own gold and silver and precious metals. I own all commodities, which is a better way to play as they debase currencies. I own more agriculture than just about anything else in real assets because of the reasons we discussed before. We were talking before about the risk-free or worry-free investment. Even gold: the Indian politicians are talking about coming down hard on gold, and India is the largest buyer of gold in the world. If Indian politicians do something whether its foolish or not is irrelevant if they do something, gold could go down a lot. So I own it. Im not selling it. But everything has problems.
To Rogers, the bigger danger that concerns him is the hollowing out of the ‘saving class’ resulting from this situation. Central planners’ policies are punishing the prudent in favor of rescuing the irresponsible. This has happened before in world history, and the aftermath has always had grievous economic, social and often human costs:
Throughout our history any countrys history the people who save their money and invest for their future are the ones that you build an economy, a society, and a nation on.
In America, many people saved their money, put it aside, and didnt buy four or five houses with no job and no money down. They did what most people would consider the right thing, and what historically has been the right thing. But now, unfortunately, those people are being wiped out, because they are getting 0% return, or virtually no return, on their savings and their investments. Were wiping them out at the expense of people who went deeply into debt, people who did what most people would consider the wrong thing at the expense of people who did the right thing. This, long-term, has terrible consequences for any nation, any society, any economy.
If you go back in history, you’ll see what happed to the Germans when they wiped out their savings class in the 1920s. It didnt lead to good things down the road for Germany. It didnt lead to good things for Italy, which did the same thing. There were plenty of countries where it wiped out the people who saved and invested for their future. Its usually a serious, political reaction, desperation in some cases, and looking for a savior and easy answers is usually what happens when you destroy the people who save and invest for the future.
Click the play button below to listen to Chris’ interview with Jim Rogers (18m:59s):
Jim Rogers has taught finance at Columbia University’s business school and is a media commentator worldwide. He is the author of Adventure Capitalist, Investment Biker, Hot Commodities, A Gift to My Children, and A Bull in China. See his website.