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Rogers Rips Bernanke, Predicts Demise of Fed

February 1, 2008

Famed investor/world traveler Jim Rogers, interviewed on Resource Investor, drops this bomb on Bernanke:

  • RESOURCE INVESTOR: I wonder what Mr. Bernanke's going to be doing. But what it amounts to is the same policy that they've always employed when they get a small so-called crisis; instead of letting the cycle run its natural course, they chuck money at the problem. Do you think he's going to do it again?
  • JIM ROGERS: Of course he is and it's just going to make it worse, you very astutely pointed out instead of just letting the cycle run its course — the Japanese tried for 15 years to keep propping up, you know, zombie companies, etcetera, etcetera, and it took them 15 years and they're still aren't out of the woods. They should just go ahead — recessions are common. We've been having them every five or six years since the beginning of time. They're good. They clean out the previous excesses. They let the system start over with a sound basis. I mean, obviously, some people get hurt, but we have a lot of safety nets in place now throughout most of the world so that it's not the end of the world and the amount of money spent trying to prevent a recession in the end costs a whole lot more than just letting the world have its recession then get on with it.

and:

  • RESOURCE INVESTOR: Yeah, let's do. But briefly, before we leave the subject, do you think that Bernanke is just going to become another Greenspan?
  • JIM ROGERS: He's worse. All he knows is to print money. His whole intellectual career has been spent studying the printing of money. America's now given him the printing presses and all he knows to do it to run them. He doesn't know about markets. He doesn't know about foreign currencies. We know now he doesn't even know about economics. I mean, he's got a PhD in economics and he was a professor of economics, but he doesn't have a clue about economics. I will quote you — I hate to quote you, but one more time — I was watching him testify before congress and I almost fell out of my chair. He said under oath, so we presume he wasn't lying, that he was just a fool, he said if an American only buys American products, it does not matter to him if the value of the U.S. dollar goes down. He will not be affected. I was looking at the man to see if he was lying, giving government propaganda, but then I could see he didn't even really understand. He didn't understand if, you know, even if say I'm an American, Lindsay, and I only buy American tires. Well if the price of foreign tires goes up, obviously the price of American tires are going to go up too. Plus, if the dollar goes down, the price of rubber's going to go higher, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. So the man doesn't even understand economics. He's going to print money. He's going to throw money out the window. The dollar's going to go down further and further and further. Inflation's going to get worse and worse and worse throughout the world — the world, not just America — and we're going to have a worse recession in the end.

and, concerning Greenspan and the demise of the Fed:

  • RESOURCE INVESTOR: Yeah, I've been writing an article on Allan Greenspan and his tenure for a local magazine, Jim, and I've been surprised at looking at some of the quotes that have been attributed to Greenspan ever since he took over as Fed Chairman in 1987. I'll just read one to you if I may briefly. It says — he said the following back in 2003, 2004, "Innovation has brought about a multitude of new products such as sub-prime loans and also niche credit programs for immigrants. Such developments are representative of the market responses that have driven the financial services industry throughout the history of our country. With these advances in technology, lenders have taken advantage of credit scoring models and other techniques of efficiently extending credit to a broader spectrum of consumers." I mean the more I read about Greenspan, the more I realize he's at the root of our current problems.
  • JIM ROGERS: Oh no, of course he is. I mean he's laid the foundation for the demise of the Federal Reserve. Between Greenspan and Bernanke, we may see the Federal Reserve fail. We've had three central banks in America. The first two failed. This one's going to fail too. I mean if you really — we could spend a whole program, a whole year of programs, reading quotes from Greenspan and you would realize what a fool he's been. In my book, "Investment Biker," I wrote that the man was a fool. I've been on TV many times talking about, oh, he just sat and watched CNBC and repeated it and said, "This is the way the world is." He never got it right, Lindsay. What was so astonishing to me was that his PR machine made some people think he was a smart guy. He never got it right in his entire investing career. I could go back over many of his failures too, but let's go on with the program.

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