Jim Rogers: Short US Bonds, Likes Russia
December 03, 2012
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Ludwig: And is there anything in Europe any different? Or is it much the same story line, in your view?
Rogers: Well, in Europe they had, what, 20 summits in the last three or four years? And each time they came out, they solved the debt. Ah, they solved the problem in Europe. And everybody breathes a sigh of relief for a day or a week or a month. And the next thing you know, we’re right back where we started. So, no.
Ludwig: Any shorts you have currently that you're willing to talk about?
Rogers: I’m short technology in the U.S. because technology isn't so over-exploited. I’m short emerging markets. I’ve shorted the bond market. I hasten to tell you I've shorted the bond market two or three times in three years—unsuccessfully. I don’t know if I got my timing right this time or not.
Ludwig: And what about unlikely long positions that might be a surprise? I'm thinking about how you were sort of joking you would be long places like North Korea if you could.
Rogers: Mainly long currencies and commodities such as the agricultures, as we’ve discussed. I would like to find a way to invest in North Korea. The only way I know to invest in North Korea is to buy stamps or their gold and silver coins from North Korea.
And Russia, I'm looking for ways to invest. I've been skeptical about Russia for 46 years, since I first visited there in 1966. I’m changing my view on Russia. I have not made any investments there yet, just because I haven't found any.
Ludwig: What is it about Russia that suddenly looks a little bit more palatable to you at this point?
Rogers: Actually, since 1917, the Russians have said, “When it’s your money, then invest here, and we’ll all get rich.” And as soon as you did that, they took it away from you, or shot you, or put you in jail, or whatever. But I have the view that Putin, for whatever reason—I'm not going to speculate about his reasons—that the government has changed now in Russia, and realizes they have to play by the same rules that everybody else does if they're going to prosper.
And so, if that’s the case, Russia has gigantic potential. They’ve got everything in the world there: huge natural resources. They're trying to develop the transportation network so that they can transport goods from Asia through Siberia. And they're spending huge amounts of money doing it. If it works, it would save a lot of time and money to get goods to Asia instead of going by ship. It would ruin Singapore, of course, because Singapore would be wrecked by the new transportation route. Anyway, there are various things that I see happening that give me encouragement for the first time in my life about Russia.