Transcription of Finance News Network interview with American investor and author, Jim Rogers.
Lelde Smits: Hello I’m Lelde Smits for Australia’s Finance News Network and joining me today from Singapore is American investor and author, Jim Rogers. Jim, welcome to FNN and thanks so much for your time. Now for the benefit of our Australian audience, why did you choose to leave your homeland and set up in Singapore?
Jim Rogers: The main reason Lelde is that I’ve got two children who I want to grow up speaking perfect Mandarin. In my view the 21stcentury will be the century of China. I couldn’t keep up the Mandarin in New York, as much as I wanted to. You know, many parents do strange things for their children, they move near football coaches or music teachers or good schools. We moved to Singapore to maintain the Mandarin.
Lelde Smits: And why Singapore when you had all of Asia to choose from?
Jim Rogers: We looked at the Chinese speaking cities in China but the problem was the ones where we wanted to live are too polluted. I love Shanghai, I love Hong Kong, but the pollution is just too horrible. Singapore is the best of all worlds.
Lelde Smits: Well you’re clearly an investor with your eyes on global horizons, but what’s your outlook for global growth stepping into next year?
Jim Rogers: Well Lelde, I’m not too optimistic about what’s going to be happening in the world in the next two or three years, and maybe even longer. We have serious problems in the United States. You know, in 2002 we had an economic slowdown, 2008 was even worse because the debt was so much higher. The next time around the debt is going to be staggeringly higher. So, the problems are going to continue to get worse until somebody solves the basic underlying problem of too much spending and too much debt.
Lelde Smits: Could you elaborate on that Jim; If you believe problems are going to get worse because of too much spending and debt, what do you believe is the biggest risk to global growth in 2012?
Jim Rogers: Well definitely too much debt is, in a nutshell yes - I mean the biggest risk of course is the Central Bank in the US which keeps printing money. But they’re printing all that money as a result of the debt. So we have big problems of money printing, debt, too much consumption – be careful.
Lelde Smits: You recently returned from the States, how are folks there feeling about the economy?
Jim Rogers: I was surprised at how much optimism there is. Everybody still seems to think everything is still going to be OK. I guess they’ve been thinking that we’ve all been brought up that everything would be OK in next year or two, and it has been OK for the past 20 or 30 years. Unfortunately I think that’s false optimism and I would have been more impressed if I’d seen a lot of depressed people, but I see optimistic people. (click for video)