Jim Rogers speaks with Sophie S of RT TV
SS: I am not as knowledgeable as you are in questions of economy and finances - so tell me, how bad are we talking about? I mean, you've been talking about this impending recession for a while now, ready to strike the U.S., for instance, but, you know, we see American economy picking up, the unemployment rate is going down, so - why does it keep postponing itself?
JR: Wait, wait. First of all, you are listening to government figures. You remember the Soviet Union, the government had a lot of numbers, they were very good. The U.S. now puts out a lot of figures that are not legitimate, accurate figures. Look at unemployment, what do they do? For instance, they just stopped counting many people, said they're not looking for a job anymore - so the numbers are artificial in the U.S. Yes, some parts of the U.S. economy are doing very well. If you're on Wall St. or if you're in finance, you're doing fine, because the government has been printing a lot of money and a lot of debt has been put out. But you go to Texas, go to the MidWest - they're not doing well at all. Most of the country is not doing well.
SS: Alright, but give me something concrete - when do we have to expect this crisis to hit and what's going to cause that meltdown?
JR: Sophie, for the last 18 months in the U.S., most stocks have been going down. The average is a fraud, because of the few big companies that make the average go up and that's because the government, the Fed Reserve, Central Bank is printing a lot of money. Stocks are going down in the U.S., most stock are down. So, the signs are already there. Now, unfortunately, they're not visible, they don't make headlines, so it's already happening. Parts of the country are in recession, stock market, most stocks are going down - it's already happening.
SS: So, if you look at the efforts of the world's financial planners and central bankers, I mean, their efforts to invigorate the economy aren't really working - what is working? What could work without the government interference?
JR: Without government interference, wouldn't that be wonderful. If we might, we probably would've been finished with the problems of 2008 or not, but most Americans will tell you that the economy is not better now. Their lives are not better than they were in 2008, or even 2005. Most Americans do not have a better life for a long-long time. If you ask me what to do, first of all you should abolish the Federal Reserve. Now, Americans had three Central Banks in our history, the first two disappeared... You can get along without a Central Bank as we have. This Central Bank is a disaster, they've been printing a lot of money, they've been running up a staggering amounts of debt. So, the first thing that we need to do is to abolish the CB, which is unlikely, or, tell them to stay out of the way, tell them to stop printing money, tell them to stop building up the debt. That's the problem in the U.S. Sophie, the U.S. is the largest debtor nation in the history of the world. Not the largest in the world, the largest in history of the world - and the debt is getting worse. This is not a good situation!
SS: So, you're thinking abolishing the CB is going to improve the situation on the market?
JR: This particular CB. Now, the world without Central Banks has problems too, but this CB is making all of our lives much worse, and the next crisis, and the one after that, if we survive the next one - it's going to be really, really bad. And, what you asked before, "what that means?" - that means bankruptcies, that means currency turmoil, that means stock markets dropping a whole lot, that means interest rates going much higher - it won't be fun.
SS: I just wonder, how many crises you have seen in your lifetime? I mean, are they all the same, you always get bankrupt and you always...
JR: But, America was a creditor nation in my lifetime. When I was a kid, America was a creditor nation. Since 1987, America has become a debtor nation, and now, in 30 years, we've become the largest debtor nation in the history of the world.
SS: So are crises getting worse and worse as your life progresses?
JR: Yes, yes. That's because of me, I guess I'm getting older and causing the problems!
SS: So you also said that, "when economic trouble arrives, it inevitably leads to war." Now, we see some major world powers, and they are all in the economic crisis. Are we doomed to see war happened?
JR: Yeah, watch RT, don't you see what is happening?
SS: What kind of war do you see? I mean, world today is very different from world 20 years ago or 50 years ago. So, what kind of war do you see?
JR: I certainly hope we won't see World War Three. We certainly hope. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, mankind throughout history is always coming up with big wars. Let's hope it continues to be proxy wars - I mean, you know about Afghanistan, you know what's been going on in the world, you know what America did in Ukraine...
SS: But this have been going on forever, it's not a new thing. I mean, countries change, locations change, but the logistics don't change.
JR: The reason these things are going on is because economic hard times are around the world. Japan is in recession, Japan is one of the largest economies in the world. The Japanese government will tell you they're in recession. Several European countries are in recession. We have hard times in many parts of teh world, and that's one of the reasons we're having strife. The whole Middle East.. In the last ten years, nearly every country - probably every country - has had some major crises. This is all because the world economy is bad and debt is building up!
SS: We keep also hearing about a major crisis in China. But their growth still stands at 7%, which is pretty impressive. Should we really be worried?
JR: I don't hear about a major crisis in China. China's in better shape than most countries these days. It does not mean China's not going to have problems.
SS: Just to say, that some people like to blame China's slowdown on world's economic problems. Is it fair?
JR: I know! And they're trying to blame Russia on Ukraine. You know, some people try to do all sorts of things, you know.
SS: They do.
JR: It's absurd, and some people listen to some of these... propaganda is unbelievable all over the world. China trades with most of the world. Japan's in recession, it's one of their major customers; if your major customer is in recession, you're going to suffer too. Korea's one of them, Korea is having problems, many parts of Europe are having problems. So, when your customers have problems, of course you have problems. You can't blame it on China, China is the victim. But it doesn't matter. We are all in it together, Sophie, and we all are suffering and we all going to suffer more in the future.
SS: But, I'm thinking, back in 2008, China was in a really, really good shape. It was doing the heavy lifting when the crisis hit the world. Who's going to do heavy lifting this time around when the crisis comes?
JR: What happened in 2008: China didn't have much debt. They had a lot of money saved up for a rainy day, and when it started to rain, they started spending money. This time, Sophie, China has a lot of debt itself. It's astonishing that China has built up so much debt in just the last 8 years. So, China is not going to be able to help as much this time as they did last time. Who's going to have to do the heavy lifting?
SS: You tell me.
JR: I told you - be worried and be prepared. There's nobody left. The Central Banks are going to print as much as they can, the governments in the U.S. and other places are going to spend as much as they can, but eventually, the Market's going to say: "we don't want your garbage anymore, you're printing all this paper money, you are putting out all these bonds - no! No! We're not going to take it anymore".
Part 2 of the interview will be published on Wednesday May 4.