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Jim Rogers Discusses His Investments Post-Brexit

Well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers recently spoke to James West, publisher/editor of the Midas Letter (“Emerging Public Company Research and Global Economic Commentary”) in the wake of the historic “Brexit” vote. During their exchange, the former investing partner of George Soros in the legendary Quantum Fund talked about his current investment holdings and warned about more financial volatility down the road. Rogers confided:

I’m short stocks in the United States, I’m long the United States dollar, I’m long agricultural commodities, I own some shares in China and a few other places. But basically I’m short the U.S. stock market and long the U.S. currency…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

When asked about the volatility of financial markets, the Singapore-based investor warned:

You think 2016 is bad. Wait ‘til 2017. It’s going to be worse

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The last time I blogged about Rogers, he told listeners of Jay Taylor (editor of J Taylor’s Gold & Technology Stocks newsletter) and his radio show Turning Hard Times into Good Times:

I urge people to get knowledgeable from listening to you and other people like you, because the world is facing some very complicated and difficult times. Once you become knowledgeable, you’re going to get very worried, which you should, and then you might get prepared, because not all of us are going to survive what’s coming in the next few years. I hope I survive, I hope everybody listening to this survives. But it’s going to be a very, very damaging and difficult time. So be worried. Be prepared

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

You can listen to/read the entire conversation between Jim Rogers and James West here over on the Financial Post (Canada) website.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Wednesday, July 6th, 2016 Agriculture, Asia, Commodities, Crash Prophets, Currencies, Investing, Preparedness, Stocks, Wall Street Comments Off on Jim Rogers Discusses His Investments Post-Brexit

Jim Rogers: Signs Of Next Economic Crisis ‘Already Happening’

The next two days I’ll be focusing on two “crash prophets” who correctly-called the 2008 global economic crisis and who see more carnage on the way. First up is the widely-followed investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers, who appeared on the RT TV show SophieCo earlier today. From his exchange with host Sophie Shevardnadze (RT transcript):

SHEVARDNADZE: You’ve been talking about this impending recession for a while now, ready to strike the U.S., for instance, but, you know, we see American economy picking up, the unemployment rate is going down, so- why does it keep postponing itself?
ROGERS: Wait, wait. First of all, you are listening to government figures. You remember the Soviet Union, the government had a lot of numbers, they were very good. The U.S. now puts out a lot of figures that are not legitimate, accurate figures. Look at unemployment, what do they do? For instance, they just stopped counting many people, said they’re not looking for a job anymore – so the numbers are artificial in the U.S. Yes, some parts of the U.S. economy are doing very well. If you’re on Wall St. or if you’re in finance, you’re doing fine, because the government has been printing a lot of money and a lot of debt has been put out. But you go to Texas, go to the MidWest- they’re not doing well at all. Most of the country is not doing well.
SHEVARDNADZE: Alright, but give me something concrete- when do we have to expect this crisis to hit and what’s going to cause that meltdown?
ROGERS: Sophie, for the last 18 months in the U.S., most stocks have been going down. The average is a fraud, because of the few big companies that make the average go up and that’s because the government, the Fed Reserve, Central Bank is printing a lot of money. Stocks are going down in the U.S., most stock are down. So, the signs are already there. Now, unfortunately, they’re not visible, they don’t make headlines, so it’s already happening. Parts of the country are in recession, stock market, most stocks are going down – it’s already happening

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Back on March 28, I noted Rogers had warned on the Nikkei Asian Review (Japan) website eight days earlier:

I expect the American economy to be in recession sometime in the next year or two…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

And earlier that month I quoted a March 4, 2016, Bloomberg.com piece where it was reported:

The famous investor said that there was a 100 percent probability that the U.S. economy would be in a downturn within one year

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Shevarnadze did a good job extracting some investment nuggets from the former investing partner of George Soros. Rogers still thinks there will be a better chance to buy gold “sometime in the next year or two,” and added later in the discussion:

If the dollar goes up, gold may go down. But, if it goes down, I hope to buy a lot more gold, because eventually gold is going to go through the roof. As this turmoil increases and people lose more and more confidence in governments, more and more confidence in paper money, they’re going to look for something, and gold and silver will be a couple of those places. If you’re looking for something right now- agriculture

I have sold short the U.S. stocks and I have sold junk bonds, low-grade bonds, in the U.S., I own shares in China, I have shares in Russia, I bought Russian government bonds, several days ago. These are places that I am looking at, I am looking at Kazakhstan as a place to invest, Iran I’m looking at, Nigeria I am looking at

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Kazakhstan and Nigeria are two markets not often mentioned by Rogers. A terrific interview, which you can read in its entirety over on the RT website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Jim Rogers: ‘I Am Looking For More Investments In Asia And In Russia’

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers is bullish on Asia (China in particular) and Russia. As recent as April 6, I blogged about a GoldSeek.com Radio interview (released April 1) in which the former investing partner of George Soros said:

I own Chinese renminbi. I own Chinese shares… I bought recently some Russian government short-term bonds in rubles.

He added later:

There are other places I’m looking at but I’m really not very active at all. I’m mainly just watching the world unfold. Be knowledgeable, be worried, and be prepared.

That last sentence is indicative of a lot of what Rogers has been sharing with the investing public lately.

Still, it’s being reported that the CEO of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc. is actively looking for places to put his substantial “war chest” ($300 million estimated net worth) to work. Katya Golubkova wrote on the Reuters website last Tuesday:

Veteran U.S. investor Jim Rogers is looking at possible investments into Russian oil firm Bashneft (BANE.MM) and diamond miner Alrosa (ALRS.MM) as he aims to add more Russian assets to his portfolio, he told Reuters…

“If they (Bashneft and Alrosa) are not under sanctions, I will take a look – as I said, I am looking for more investments in Asia and in Russia but I am an American and I have to be a little bit careful.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Golubkova added:

He already has interests in Russian state airline Aeroflot (AFLT.MM), the Moscow Exchange (MOEX.MM) and fertilizer producer PhosAgro (PHOR.MM). He owns some exchange traded funds (ETFs) and is investing in Russian treasury bonds.

“I am looking for more investments in Russia. I am trying to buy into a Russian tourist company, I am optimistic about Russian tourism,” Rogers said, adding that he was also looking to buy more stocks of Russian agriculture companies

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

A little over a year ago, I discussed an April 6, 2015, Reuters piece in which Yelena Orekhova and Olga Popova wrote:

Russia could now be “the right place at the right time” for investors, he said. His own portfolio consists largely of Russian shares, he said, among them fertiliser company Phosagro , airline Aeroflot and the Moscow Exchange…

About those “Russian government short-term bonds in rubles” mentioned a week-and-a-half ago, Rogers expounded in the April 12, 2016, Reuters article:

“If I got a chance I would probably buy more,” Rogers said, adding that he was only investing in Russian rouble bonds, not Eurobonds.

“I want to buy rouble bonds, I am more optimistic about rouble bonds than I am in Eurobonds. Rouble bonds have much higher yields.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Nice work by Reuters for staying on top of Rogers’ (potential) Russian investments.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

Source:

Goubkova, Katya. “Veteran U.S. investor Rogers looks to add more Russia to portfolio.” Reuters. 12 Apr. 2016. (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-rogers-idUSKCN0X90SC). 17 Apr. 2016.

Jim Rogers’ latest book…

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Monday, April 18th, 2016 Agriculture, Asia, Bonds, Commodities, Crash Prophets, Currencies, Emerging Markets, Energy, Europe, Exchange-Traded Funds, Gemstones, Investing, Natural Resources, Stocks, Tourism Comments Off on Jim Rogers: ‘I Am Looking For More Investments In Asia And In Russia’

Jim Rogers: ‘We’re Certainly Going To Have Worse Times Than We’ve Had In Our Lifetime’

Let’s talk finance and investing for the remainder of the day. Well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers recently made an appearance on GoldSeek.com Radio, and in the April 1, 2016, broadcast, the former investing partner of George Soros talked about several topics including a coming U.S. financial crash, where he’s putting his money these days, and the prospect of another buying opportunity with gold. On a coming crash, from the exchange with host Chris Waltzek:

WALTZEK: You know you’ve mentioned that this could be the “last rally.” I put that in quotes and we’re seeing again signs of that. But these price-to-earnings ratios, the CAPE ratios, some of our individual stocks 300, 500-priced-to- earnings. I mean, they’re priced to perfection for eternity. Could this lead to maybe a 1929-style scenario, or are we in worse or more dangerous water?
ROGERS: Chris, we’re certainly going to have worse times than we’ve had in our lifetimes. How bad it is? I expect it to be, well to repeat, worse than anything we’ve had in our lifetime, because the debt is like nothing it’s ever been in recorded history. America is now the largest debtor nation in the history of the world. Higher and higher. But so does everybody else’s debt. So the next time around- yes, it’s going to be very, very disastrous. The only hope Chris is that somehow the world survives the next time around. Well we won’t survive the one after that, I assure you, because the debt will be so much higher, money printing will be so much worse. We’re going to live in very interesting times, which as you know, a Chinese curse to live in interesting times.

Regarding where the Singapore-based investor is putting his money:

WALTZEK: So give us an idea then where those funds of yours are headed and where you feel safe right now.
ROGERS: I own a lot of U.S. dollars, not because it’s going to be a horrible currency in the end, but with the bad times coming many people will put their money in what they consider safe assets or safe havens, and many people think the U.S. dollar is a safe haven. Compared to the rest of the world- yeah, it is a safe haven compared to the yen or the euro or other currencies. So I own U.S. dollars. I own Chinese renminbi. I own Chinese shares. I’m short in the U.S. I’m long agriculture. I bought recently some Russian government short-term bonds in rubles. I own some gold and silver which I have for years- I haven’t bought any recently. Some stocks that I’ve owned for twenty or thirty years- I don’t see any reason to sell them since I bought them so long ago. That’s basically, off the top of my head, where my investments are.

On the prospect of another buying opportunity in gold, Rogers said:

I’m not rushing in to buy. I still expect a better opportunity to buy gold sometime in the next two or three years. If that happens, I hope I’m smart enough to buy more. If it doesn’t happen, I own some gold, so I’ll make money. But I’m still waiting for my… another opportunity.

The CEO of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc. shared with listeners:

There are other places I’m looking at but I’m really not very active at all. I’m mainly just watching the world unfold. Be knowledgeable, be worried, and be prepared.

“Be knowledgeable, be worried, and be prepared.” Wise words to digest.


“GSR interviews JIM ROGERS – March 31, 2016 Nugget”
YouTube Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 Agriculture, Asia, Bonds, Commodities, Crash Prophets, Currencies, Debt Crisis, Depression, Emerging Markets, Europe, Government, Investing, Monetary Policy, Money Supply, Precious Metals, Stocks Comments Off on Jim Rogers: ‘We’re Certainly Going To Have Worse Times Than We’ve Had In Our Lifetime’

Jim Rogers Interviewed By The Sovereign Society

Earlier this week I finally got the chance to listen to a three-part interview of investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers by The Sovereign Society’s editorial director JL Yastine. Released on The Sovereign Investor Daily website over three days beginning February 9, 2016, their exchange provided significant information about Rogers’ investing views, activity, and strategy going forward. From the Singapore-based investor each day:

February 9

• Revealed he shorted “top” tech stocks
• Discussed outlook for U.S economy
• Implicated Federal Reserve and Washington, D.C., as “culprit” for financial woes, saying:

If you have to have a single culprit- and it’s rare that you can have a single culprit in something like this- it would be the Federal Reserve and Washington, D.C. The Federal Reserve has printed staggering amounts of money. This had interest rates at historic lows. They have never been this low. At the same time, Congress, of course, has spent billions of dollars we don’t have. So with the Fed and Congress running up staggering debts and printing lots of money, we’ve had an artificial situation for eight years now, and we’re going to pay the price. And we’re starting to pay the price now.

• Going forward, the former trading partner of George Soros predicted:

Somewhere along the line, the market will be down 13 percent, 23 percent, you pick the number, the Fed will get a huge number of phone calls saying you’ve got to save the world. These are academics and bureaucrats as you know working for the Federal Reserve- they don’t know what they’re doing. And so they will panic, and they will do something to save us all, whether it’s lower interest rates again, or print more money, or buy more- who knows what they’ll do? They’re going to do something to try to save the markets when the problems come. The markets will rally, the markets will have a nice rally, but that rally will not last, because we’re getting past to the point of no return. There’s not much we can do now given the massive amounts of money that’s been printed.

February 10

• Talked about the U.S. dollar, noting:

I own the dollar. I expect it to go higher. It could well turn into a bubble before it’s over, depending how bad the financial turmoil is.

• Talked about crude oil, revealing:

I don’t see enough panic yet in oil for me to step in. It does seem to be making a complicated bottom.

• Discussed China, saying:

I stopped buying stocks anywhere in the world last August… I see horrible problems in the world’s financial markets for a couple of years, so I’ not buying anywhere, including China…

I do own renminbi… and if it goes down a lot, I hope I’m smart enough to buy more.

• Shared thoughts on gold, insisting:

I’m not a mystic about gold. In my view gold is nothing more than another asset that can be bought and sold. I do own it. I hedged some of my gold about the time I spoke to you. But if it goes down more, I hope I’m smart enough to buy more.

February 11

• Shared an “endgame” forecast:

It’s not going to end very nicely at all… It’s going to end very badly, for all of us. We had our financial problem in 2008 because of debt. Well, the debt now is much, much, much higher than then. The Federal Reserve alone balance sheet is up 600 percent in eight years. So the debt is skyrocketing everywhere. It’s going to end badly. The next financial crisis we have, or semi-crisis, is going to be worse than 2008 in most parts of the world.

• Shared expectations of how the markets will play out, saying:

What I expect to happen is, the U.S. dollar is going to go higher. Gold will go lower. Markets will go lower. At some point, like I said, the dollar will get overpriced, maybe even a bubble. At which point I hope I’m smart enough to sell my U.S. dollars. Gold often goes down when the dollar goes up. So the dollar will be up, gold will be down, and I will say “A-ha! I’m going to sell my dollars now and buy gold.” But it might be something else. It might be renminbi. If the renmibi’s down, and the renminbi’s convertible by then, then maybe I will buy renminbi when I get out of my dollars. Gold, in my view, will probably wind up in a bubble before this is over. But in the meantime I’m waiting to buy it lower, because the bubble is maybe a few years away.

• Gave advice for protecting wealth in “the coming hard times”

On that last bullet point, since I don’t want to steal The Sovereign Society’s thunder, head on over to the corresponding links to watch the entire interview. Great stuff.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Jim Rogers Shares Investing Insights For 2016 And Beyond

Speaking of Singapore, once in a while I come across some terrific interviews of the “crash prophets.” This weekend I read one of well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers. James West, publisher/editor of the Midas Letter (“Emerging Public Company Research and Global Economic Commentary”), spoke to the Singapore-based investor and published the exchange on his newsletter’s website last Tuesday. They talked about everything (at least as it concerns topics I think Survival And Prosperity readers might be interested in). Rogers maintains what’s going on in the financial markets/system these days goes back to the 2008 global economic crisis:

WEST: Jim would you agree that the roughly 8 percent drop in global market indices since the beginning of 2016 is the harbinger of a continuation of the financial crisis that began in 2008?
ROGERS: Oh I know it is. There’s no doubt in my mind. China’s been able to support the world through a period of money printing and low interest rates, and that’s now come to an end cause China’s showing signs of slowing down. People say China’s to blame for all this mess, but China’s just a victim like the rest of us. We’re all victims James, we’re all victims, including American citizens. Our central bank has been a disaster…

Regarding investment advice for 2016, the chairman of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc., shared the following:

WEST: So where should an investor be, going into a 2016 that is so volatile and so fraught with the risk of another major market correction?
ROGERS: Well, who knows. What I have done is I’m short in the U.S. stock market – the nine or ten stocks that never go down – Amazon, Netflix… those things. I am short junk bonds in the U.S., I am long in China – mainly because I have to be long somewhere. So I’m short junk bonds, I’m short the U.S. stock market, I own a lot of U.S. dollars for the reasons I mentioned. That’s mainly where my money is. But who knows if I’ve got it right. I own some other stocks too that I’ve owned for decades…

Rogers provides additional insights into bonds, the U.S. dollar, gold, monetary policy, agriculture, commodities, silver, crude oil, and other topics. Like I said, terrific interview. Not wanting to steal West’s thunder, head on over to the Midas Letter website here to read it all.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Monday, January 25th, 2016 Agriculture, Asia, Banking, Bonds, Commodities, Crash Prophets, Currencies, Federal Reserve, Interest Rates, Investing, Monetary Policy, Money Supply, Precious Metals, Stocks Comments Off on Jim Rogers Shares Investing Insights For 2016 And Beyond

Jim Rogers Identifies China’s Six Most Promising Industries

Today on Survival And Prosperity I’m going to be focusing on investment matters. First up is investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers. He recently spoke at an asset management forum in Shanghai and talked about investment opportunities/activities in China. PEdaily.cn reported the following about the former investing partner of George Soros on September 21 (via a Google Chrome translation):

• Rogers is still bullish on China’s long-term prospects despite their recent stock market woes. I noted this back on September 9.

• He identified China’s six most promising industries are agriculture followed by tourism, “environmental protection industry, the financial industry, the pharmaceutical industry and the railway industry”

• The Singapore-based investor bought shares in the Chinese tourism sector around three weeks ago

On that second bullet point, back in November 2013 China announced economic and social reforms from which Rogers took away the following. I blogged on November 26, 2013:

Earlier today, Rogers appeared on CNBC-TV18 and told viewers:

Well, I’m excited by what happened. As the Chinese had an exciting announcement in 1978 and in 1993, they say this announcement is to be as significant and as exciting as what happened previously in those two years. So far what I have seen that’s correct- some sectors of the Chinese economy are going to benefit enormously. And as you all know if you can find a government that is going to spend a lot of money or give a lot of incentives to a sector, you should put your money into that sector too. So the Chinese are clear that they are going to do something about railroads, about healthcare, agriculture, pollution. They have made it pretty clear they are going to do something, so I would suggest that people read what they said and then try to find some stocks in those areas…

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

Source:

“Wall Street predators Rogers: promising Chinese economy is continuing to buy Chinese stocks.” PEdaily.cn. 21 Sep. 2015. (http://www.profitconfidential.com/chinese-economy/jim-rogers-why-the-investor-is-bullish-on-china/). 29 Sep. 2015.

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Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 Agriculture, Asia, Crash Prophets, Environment, Government, Health, Investing, Tourism, Transportation Comments Off on Jim Rogers Identifies China’s Six Most Promising Industries

Peter Schiff: Told You The Fed Was Bluffing On Rate Hikes

I recently highlighted an example of why Jeremy Grantham, the British-born investment strategist and founder/former chairman of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. (oversees $117 billion in client assets as of June 30), is one of Survival And Prosperity’s “crash prophets.”

The following also exemplifies why Peter Schiff, the CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, belongs to that small group of individuals whose investment activities/recommendations I track on a regular basis.

From Schiff’s “Groundhog Day at the Fed,” published on the Euro Pacific Capital website last Friday:

Every dictator knows that a continuous state of emergency is the best means to justify tyrannical policies. The trick is to keep the fictitious emergency from breeding so much paranoia that routine activities come to a halt. Many have discovered that its best to make the threat external, intangible and ultimately, unverifiable. In Orwell’s 1984 the preferred mantra was “We’ve always been at war with Eurasia,” even though everyone knew it wasn’t true. In its rate decision this week the Federal Reserve, adopted a similar approach and conjured up an external threat to maintain a policy that is becoming increasingly absurd.

In blaming its continued inaction on “uncertainties abroad” (an excuse never before invoked by the Fed in the current period of zero interest rates), the Fed was able to maintain the pretense of a strong domestic economy, and its desire to lift rates at the earliest appropriate moment while continuing the economic life support of zero percent rates. Unbelievably, the media swallowed the propaganda hook, line, and sinker.

Over the summer it all seemed so certain. In mid-August the Wall Street Journal conducted a poll revealing that 95% of economists expected a rate hike by the end of 2015, with 82% expecting the first move to come in September. On July 29, Marketwatch reported that changes in Fed language were the “smoking gun” that made a September move a certainty. I was one of the few who publicly predicted that all the tough talk from the Fed was a bluff, and that there would be no hike in 2015. For taking that stance, I was largely ignored and ridiculed. In a July 16 interview on CNBC’s Futures Now (I am no longer invited to be on their television broadcasts), pundit Scott Nations took me to task for making the “outlandish” suggestion that the Fed would not raise in 2015, saying (to paraphrase):

“If price is truth and Fed funds futures are the collective wisdom of everybody in the world, and they are absolutely a lock for the Fed to raise rates by the end of the year, why is everybody else wrong and you are right?”

But now, in mid-September, it has all changed, far fewer economists expect a hike this year. However, despite this dramatic reversal, few have downgraded their forecasts or weakened their belief that the Fed remains committed to tighten policy…eventually. In other words, the Fed has achieved a complete communications victory.

Just like it has in prior statements, the Fed painted a picture of a stable and growing economy that was ready for a hike. In fact, in her press conference, Janet Yellen said that the Fed was “impressed” by the strength of the domestic economy. Although such statements began to resemble the film Groundhog Day, no one seems to tire of it.

A cornucopia of metaphors should have come to mind: The Fed’s bite had failed to live up to its bark; its “open mouth” operations wrote a check that its Open Market Committee was unable to cash; the Fed has become Lucy of the comic strip Peanuts, always promising to hold the football for Charlie Brown to kick, but always taking it away before he kicks it. Instead, the dominant theme of the coverage was that the Fed’s understanding of the global economy was just better than the rest of us. It apparently understood that a 25 basis point increase in rates in the U.S. could ripple through to the world markets and could potentially push China’s tottering stock market into the abyss. That was a risk it believed was not worth taking.

To keep the story line going requires that the steady torrent of negative data be ignored (see manufacturing data in September Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey of Philly Fed]. Similar weakness is evident in business investment, productivity, and consumer confidence numbers. Based on those data sets, conventional Keynesian “wisdom” suggests the Fed should be preparing a fresh round of stimulus, not readying its first economic sedative in nine years.

The big news is the introduction of “international developments” as an ongoing input into the Fed’s rate deliberation process. This addition allows the Fed nearly limitless latitude to perpetually kick the can down the road. After all, it is a great big world, and it will always be possible to find a problem somewhere. A Reuters article issued after the decision describes the new reality (9/18/15, Howard Schneider):

“It is a situation that could leave the Fed stranded in its hunt for a rate liftoff until the entire global economy is growing in sync, and the horizon is clear of risks.”

So there you have it. The Fed is no longer just the central bank of the United States, but the central bank of the entire world. As such it will need to consider any possible negative impacts, anywhere, before it pulls the trigger. This isn’t just moving the goalposts; it is dismantling them completely, putting them in crates, and losing them in a government warehouse…much like the Ark of the Covenant at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie.

The height of yesterday’s absurdity came during Janet Yellen’s press conference when Ann Saphir from Reuters asked her about the possibility that interest rates could stay at zero “forever.” While characterizing that likelihood as “extreme,” Yellen incredibly stated that she could not rule out the possibility. Of course the absurd suggestion that American civilization may never see rates above zero did not even raise eyebrows in the mainstream media. But the statement itself raises some interesting questions about Yellen’s actual thinking. First, how can she really be contemplating at 2015 rate hike, if she cannot even rule out the possibility of rates remaining at zero forever? Second, is she really that naïve and arrogant to believe that currency markets would allow the Fed to hold interest rates at zero indefinitely, without creating a dollar crisis, even if the Fed wanted to hold them there?

As I have maintained continuously, rate hike talk from the Fed is just a bluff to disguise its inability to tighten, as even small increases could be sufficient to prick the biggest bubble it has ever inflated. It is no coincidence that the stunning 170% increase in the Dow Jones, that occurred between March 2009 and the end of 2014, happened while the Fed was stimulating the economy almost continuously with QE, and that the rally came to an abrupt end when the QE stopped.

The recent 10% correction on Wall Street confirms to me just how sensitive the markets remain to the prospect of any rates higher than zero. In reality, that sell-off was a much greater factor than China in keeping the Fed quiet. That steep correction occurred at a time when most forecasters believed that a September hike was in the cards. For years, they had known that a rate hike was coming, but they always thought it would arrive when the economy was healthy. But when the big day became a clear and present danger, and the economy was still less than optimal, markets began to panic. It was only when Fed officials came out with publicly dovish statements that the sell-off ended. Despite this obvious connection, the markets are still blaming China, despite the fact that big sell-offs in China had been occurring for much of 2015 without sparking follow on panics in the U.S.

As a result, it should be clear that ongoing Fed decision-making is not just “data dependent” (and now we are talking about international, not just domestic, data), but also “market dependent,” meaning the Fed won’t raise rates if markets sell off sharply on expectations that it will raise. Given these impossible conditions, perhaps a perpetual zero rates are not so outlandish. But the reality is Central banks can’t really control interest rates across the spectrum, just the short end of the curve…when markets really panic, they won’t be able to stop economically devastating interest rate spikes on the long end.

In the meantime, I can only hope that the foreign exchange and commodity markets are finally getting the picture that the Fed appears impotent. The tremendous rally in the dollar over the past 18 months was predicated on the belief that interest rates would be rising in the U.S. just as they were falling everywhere else. Now that that premise is in tatters, the dollar should be giving back its undeserved gains. Recent moves in the foreign exchange market reveal that this is the case.

When the year began, opinion was divided between those who thought the Fed would move in March, and those who thought it wouldn’t happen until June. When June came and went, September became the odds-on favorite. Now those same experts are once again divided between December and sometime in 2016. When will these “experts” finally connect the real dots and discover that the monetary medicine that the Fed has doused over the economy since 2008 has only created a weak and utterly dependent economy. A rate hike is supposed to be a signal that the economy has a clean bill of health. But as the patient fails to recover, another dose of QE will be just what the doctor orders.

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Sniff, sniff, sniff. I smell another Peter Schiff Was Right YouTube video in the offing…

(Editor’s notes: Permission to publish article granted by Euro Pacific Capital; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 Asia, Bubbles, Commodities, Crash Prophets, Currencies, Federal Reserve, Interest Rates, Mainstream Media, Monetary Policy, Propaganda, Stimulus, Stocks, Wall Street Comments Off on Peter Schiff: Told You The Fed Was Bluffing On Rate Hikes

Jim Rogers On Illusionary Prosperity: ‘The Road’s Coming To An End’

Investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers just appeared on the Yahoo! Finance show Market Pulse. The chairman of Rogers Holdings had plenty to discuss with Michael Santoli, Yahoo! Finance Senior Columnist. From their exchange that was published on the Yahoo! Finance website this afternoon:

SANTOLI: So we’re overdue for some kind of problems. Obviously we’ve been focused on problems that seem to be unfolding elsewhere in the world whether it’s emerging markets, commodities, currencies, things like that. So how bad is it going to be? People keep pointing to these prior instances whether it’s 2011 or 1998. How’s it look?
ROGERS: Mike, you work for Yahoo! Finance. You should know how bad it’s going to be for goodness sakes. It’s going to be wor- we had a problem in 2008 because of huge debt. The debt is much, much, much higher now everywhere in the world. The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet alone is over 600 percent bigger in just seven years. Mike the problem’s going to be much worse. You should watch Yahoo! Finance. I’m telling you, you should be worried, you should be prepared… We’ve got staggering debt. Huge amounts of money printing. We’re going to have to pay the price because politicians have kept pushing things down the road, kicking the can down the road as they put it- the road’s coming to an end.

The former investing partner of George Soros in the legendary Quantum Fund added later:

I don’t have any shares in the U.S. for instance. I’ve got some shorts in the U.S.- it’s near all-time highs. I don’t have many shares many places except some I bought 20 or 25 years ago. China I own shares. Russia I own shares. These are depressed markets. I like to buy things- agriculture- I like to buy things that are depressed because even if we have problems, at least they’re already down some. They can go down more, and they probably will, but that’s where I’m focusing.


“Jim Rogers On The Fed”
Yahoo! Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

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Monday, September 14th, 2015 Agriculture, Asia, Bailouts, Crash Prophets, Debt Crisis, Europe, Federal Reserve, Fiscal Policy, Government, Investing, Monetary Policy, Money Supply, Preparedness, Stimulus, Stocks Comments Off on Jim Rogers On Illusionary Prosperity: ‘The Road’s Coming To An End’

Jim Rogers Bullish On Chinese Stocks Despite Recent Sell-Off

Investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers has been bullish on China for a number of years now. And despite the Shanghai composite index falling 37 percent since the sell-off that began in June, the former investing partner of George Soros in the legendary Quantum Fund is still fond of the Asian economic giant. From the website of international multimedia news service Sputnik International Monday:

The Chinese economy has a great potential for development and will surely recover from the recent downturn, prominent US investor Jim Rogers said in an interview with the Japanese newspaper Nikkei…

China has a great scope for growth, especially in logistics, tourism and the agricultural industry, the investor said.

He explained that his outlook is based on long-term perspectives which are often ignored by others. Now, it is high time to buy Chinese shares, not to sell, he believes

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Not only does the Singapore-based investor talk the talk, but he walks the walk. On September 3, an article on the Asia Times (Hong Kong) website mentioned the following concerning Jim Rogers’ well-publicized sale of Indian stocks:

After exiting India, Rogers bought Chinese shares during the two-three days when its market collapsed

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

According to that Sputnik piece, Rogers is planning to visit China and Russia “to assess the investment climate for his upcoming projects.”

Stay tuned all your Rogers followers…

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

Sources:

“Prominent Investor Places His Bets On Russia, China.” Sputnik International. 7 Sep. 2015. (http://sputniknews.com/business/20150907/1026677754/jim-rogers-invest-to-china-russia.html). 9 Sep. 2015.

“Investor Jim Rogers takes too hard view on India.” Asia Times. 3 Sep. 2015. (http://atimes.com/2015/09/investor-jim-rogers-takes-too-hard-view-on-india/). 9 Sep. 2015.

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Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 Agriculture, Asia, Crash Prophets, Emerging Markets, Europe, Investing, Stocks, Tourism Comments Off on Jim Rogers Bullish On Chinese Stocks Despite Recent Sell-Off
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