Q: Now despite the recent stock-market rally that started in March, many U.S. stocks are trading well off their 2007 highs. How come you see no value to this market?
A: I am not buying U.S. companies mainly because I think we may have seen a bottom but I don't think we have seen the bottom. I am skeptical about the rally, the world economy for the next year or two or three. But if stocks go down, I can make money with commodities. In the 1970s, commodities went through the roof even though stocks were a disaster. In the 1930s, commodities rallied first and went up the most long before stocks pulled it together.
Q: Can you summarize the reasons for your bullishness about commodities?
A: It depends on the supply and demand. And we have had a dearth of supply. Nobody has invested in productive capacity for 25 or 30 years now. The inventories of food are the lowest they have been in 50 years and you have a shortage of farmers even right now because most farmers are old men because it has been such a horrible business for 30 years. And as for metals, nobody can get a loan to open a mine as you know. Who is going to give you money to open a zinc mine? It takes at least 10 years to open a mine so it's going to be 15 or 20 years before we see new mines come on. Nobody has been opening mines for 30 years and they are not going to. And in the meantime reserves are declining. As for oil, the International Energy Agency came out recently with a study showing that oil reserves worldwide were declining at the rate of 6% or 7% a year.
That does not mean that if suddenly the U.S. goes bankrupt that everything won't collapse in price. But I would rather be in commodities because it's the only thing I know where the fundamentals are improving. [....] [... bold added by me]
Jim Rogers Isn't Buying a U.S. Stock Recovery
1. What is fragile should break early while it is still small. Nothing should ever become too big to fail. Evolution in economic life helps those with the maximum amount of hidden risks – and hence the most fragile – become the biggest.
2. No socialisation of losses and privatisation of gains. Whatever may need to be bailed out should be nationalised; whatever does not need a bail-out should be free, small and risk-bearing. We have managed to combine the worst of capitalism and socialism. In France in the 1980s, the socialists took over the banks. In the US in the 2000s, the banks took over the government. This is surreal.
3. People who were driving a school bus blindfolded (and crashed it) should never be given a new bus. The economics establishment (universities, regulators, central bankers, government officials, various organisations staffed with economists) lost its legitimacy with the failure of the system. It is irresponsible and foolish to put our trust in the ability of such experts to get us out of this mess. Instead, find the smart people whose hands are clean.
4. Do not let someone making an “incentive” bonus manage a nuclear plant – or your financial risks. Odds are he would cut every corner on safety to show “profits” while claiming to be “conservative”. Bonuses do not accommodate the hidden risks of blow-ups. It is the asymmetry of the bonus system that got us here. No incentives without disincentives: capitalism is about rewards and punishments, not just rewards.
5. Counter-balance complexity with simplicity. Complexity from globalisation and highly networked economic life needs to be countered by simplicity in financial products. The complex economy is already a form of leverage: the leverage of efficiency. Such systems survive thanks to slack and redundancy; adding debt produces wild and dangerous gyrations and leaves no room for error. Capitalism cannot avoid fads and bubbles: equity bubbles (as in 2000) have proved to be mild; debt bubbles are vicious.
6. Do not give children sticks of dynamite, even if they come with a warning. Complex derivatives need to be banned because nobody understands them and few are rational enough to know it. Citizens must be protected from themselves, from bankers selling them “hedging” products, and from gullible regulators who listen to economic theorists.
7. Only Ponzi schemes should depend on confidence. Governments should never need to “restore confidence”. Cascading rumours are a product of complex systems. Governments cannot stop the rumours. Simply, we need to be in a position to shrug off rumours, be robust in the face of them.
8. Do not give an addict more drugs if he has withdrawal pains. Using leverage to cure the problems of too much leverage is not homeopathy, it is denial. The debt crisis is not a temporary problem, it is a structural one. We need rehab.
9. Citizens should not depend on financial assets or fallible “expert” advice for their retirement. Economic life should be definancialised. We should learn not to use markets as storehouses of value: they do not harbour the certainties that normal citizens require. Citizens should experience anxiety about their own businesses (which they control), not their investments (which they do not control).
10. Make an omelette with the broken eggs. Finally, this crisis cannot be fixed with makeshift repairs, no more than a boat with a rotten hull can be fixed with ad-hoc patches. We need to rebuild the hull with new (stronger) materials; we will have to remake the system before it does so itself. Let us move voluntarily into Capitalism 2.0 by helping what needs to be broken break on its own, converting debt into equity, marginalising the economics and business school establishments, shutting down the “Nobel” in economics, banning leveraged buyouts, putting bankers where they belong, clawing back the bonuses of those who got us here, and teaching people to navigate a world with fewer certainties. [more]
Bizzare photo from London Circus (G-20 meeting) [more]
Bodes well for ever-increasing energy consumption! Production and powering of all these gizmos will require staggering amount of energy. No?
To prosper in this culture of immersive, always-on telepresence, you — or your portable bandolier of technology — have got to be really good at selectively sucking and synthesizing a staggering amount of information. Thus you upgrade your rig every couple of years.
Sex with Robots: How Humanity Is Screwing Itself
Bring back the guillotine...for banksters! Great video:
... These guys are financial terrorists. They should be decapitated.[..]
This is counterfeiting to go along with fraud and embezzlement.[..]
This is a pre-planned financial holocaust by financial terrorists. I think if Bin Laden would be running the central bank in the US he would be doing a much better job and less damage.
….they (Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan et al) are systematically undermining the entire system. They are creating a mechanism to carve out equity and capital for themselves at the expense of society at large.
So in the United States, unemployment is skyrocketing. The uninsured is skyrocketing. The social fabric is coming unglued. You have riots all over the world…in Iceland and other countries due to this financial terrorism that was pre-meditated, on purpose and should be addressed as such.
There is a double standard. Why is the US pursuing so-called terrorists in nations like Afghanistan when they let these guys roam free on Wall Street? They’re the worst criminals of all – they do far more damage. [....]
Reign of Terror, ... bring it on!