Q: What is your take on China's slowdown?
Rogers: Chinese trade with everybody and their trading partners are having problems. Japan is in recession, parts of Europe are in recession, Russia, India is slowing, America -- some parts of America are having problems. So when your large trading partners have problems, you have problems, if you deal with those countries. So, parts of the Chinese economy are going to continue to go down. China has debt now. In 2008, when we had a problem, China had a lot of money saved up for a rainy day and they started spending it, which helped save the world. But this time, China has a lot of debt, too.
Some parts of the Chinese economy, they were going to be extremely strong. China has a lot of pollution. And the government is now spending a lot of money to clean up China. So if you are in pollution cleanup ... you [are in a position] to make a lot of money. China is spending a lot of money now on health care because they don't have much health care or good health care. So if you are in the right area in China, you are going to boom.
Q: How do you rate the economic policies of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe?
Rogers: The prime minister in Japan says, "No, no, we will print unlimited amounts of money." Now, maybe he is right. Maybe printing unlimited amounts of money forever -- there is a good solution. Maybe debasing your currency [and] driving the debt out is the right solution. I think history will not judge if that's the right way.
I am sure Mr. Abe is a very nice person, a very smart person. But I don't think he is doing the right thing for Japan. Negative interest rates cannot work and will not work. There are several bureaucrats and academics who are trying negative interest rates, and they say, "Well, if we make people spend money, they think we will be OK." Well, it can't [work]. The way you build an economy is with savings and investing. Consumption is wonderful for a while, but you have to have a basis of savings and investing before you have the consumption.
Q: In the current circumstances, where would you invest?
Rogers: I want to buy more Russian government bonds, short-term government bonds. They have very high yields in rubles -- not in dollars. I want to buy more Russian stocks, but I am too busy. If China's market goes down low, I would buy there. I am looking to invest in Kazakhstan, where there are very dramatic changes taking place, positive changes. It's difficult for an American still to invest in Iran, but the Japanese can and should be investing in Iran. There are some places in the world where good things are happening. [With] American stock markets near an all-time high, I don't want to buy [in] America.
Jim Rogers is a smart investor who co-founded the Quantum Fund with George Soros in 1973. By 1983 the fund gained more than 4000 percent.