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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Andy Mukherjee (ET Now) interviews Jim Rogers

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 much to own besides commodities. . . .

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 fundamental for commodities continue to improve. The fundamentals for the US dollar do not continue to improve. They are deteriorating. . . .

I have not bought any stocks anywhere in the world in the last couple of years except China. I did buy some Chinese shares back in October-November. I have not been buying anything other than that for some time. I have been worried about the world economy, about the world stock markets. If you got to be somewhere and if there is going to be a recovery, it will show up in commodities best of all, and if there is not going to be any recovery, commodities are still a better place to be. . . .

If you want to put in your money somewhere, put it in commodities. That's the only thing I bought recently. I have bought some yen and swiss francs. If you know enough about currencies to figure out who is going to benefit, if I am right about the currency turmoil coming, then you can buy some of the currencies
and if you think that the rupee is the place to be, then you can buy some rupees. . . .

I cannot conceive of lending money to the US government for 30 years in US dollars for 3, 4, 5 or 6% interest. It's just inconceivable to me that I would let them have my money for 30 years and they would pay me back someday in US dollars at such a low rate of interest. I expect problems in the bond market. I don't know when. I am not sure about the bond market. I was short in the bond market, but I got out. I expect to see serious problems in the bond market down the road.
-- from "Commodities are sizzling, says Jim Rogers" by Andy Mukherjee


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