Monday, March 19, 2012

Is Jim Rogers Right About America? -

Jim Rogers continues to act as the curmudgeon in chief, a bearish counterpoint to Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK.A) Warren Buffett’s optimism about the recovery of the American economy. The legendary investor, who has been officially retired since the age of 37, has been very vocal about his pessimism about the future of the United States, going so far as to move to Singapore so as to raise his children in Asia where he sees the future of the global economy.
“A lot of the problems we’re facing today is that people have forgotten how to work hard. It’s a generational thing. If you go to a fast food restaurant or a department store in the United States, you’ll see senior citizens working behind the counter or greeting customers. They’re doing it because they have a work ethic.” – Jim Rogers
Rogers seems to be like the negative Energizer Bunny, he just keeps going and going. In each and every new interview, Rogers seems to espouse his belief that the sun is setting on the glory of the American economic empire. An interview on Friday with Business Insider provided Rogers with another opportunity to rain on everyone’s efforts at having a parade over economic data. Rogers speculated that the crushing national debt, rising oil prices, and inflation will all contribute to a new “lost decade” for the United States, with the snail-paced recovery this year giving way to serious issues for the future.
“This year’s fine,” he told CNBC in an interview on The Kudlow Report
. “Worry about 2013. Be panicked about 2014.”
Whether or not Rogers’ serious concerns about the future should be heeded is much more difficult to say. For every economist inclined to agree with Rogers, there’s another who will insist that he’s totally off base. What’s more, Warren Buffett, an investor of some reputation, placed multi-billion dollar bets on US equities when the market was crashing last year based on his bullish view towards the American economy. While it’s impossible to say for sure whether or not Rogers is correct, he certainly isn’t pulling any punches. One thing’s for sure, the people of Asia are probably pulling for him to be right.

Jim Rogers

Warren Buffett

Nouriel Roubini