HONG KONG, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The global financial crisis has only strengthened reknowned international investor Jim Rogers’ acerbic criticisms about the U.S. economy and his resoundingly optimistic view on China’s future.
Rogers, co-founder along George Soros of the Quantum Fund, railed at the Federal Reserve and incoming U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, while also saying the high saving rate and solid fundamentals in China make it a powerful force to be reckoned with.
“This is going to be the new centre of the world, not just the financial but the political world,” he said at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong.
Rogers, who is now an independent investor living in Singapore, said he was going to use the U.S. dollar rally in the last six months to get out of all his investments in dollar-denominated assets and keep buying Chinese equities, the Japanese yen and commodities.
He said his bets against U.S. investment banks, the two largest U.S. mortgage providers Fannie Mae FNM.N and Freddie Mac FRE.N and the yen kept his portfolio in the positive last year, but the rest of his investments suffered.
He accused U.S. authorities of consciously trying to devalue the U.S. dollar by flooding the market with liquidity -- or in his words, “turning on the printing presses” -- and said anyone chasing the rally in government bonds is making a “terrible mistake.”
“The idea that you can fix a period of excess borrowing and excess consumption by more borrowing and more consumption to me is just ludicrous,” he said.
Underscoring his convictions, Rogers began his speech by showing pictures of his two young children, both of whom he said have Swiss bank accounts and speak Mandarin.
The Quantum Fund shot to fame after making more than $1 billion betting against the British pound in early 1990s. (Reporting by Kevin Plumberg; Editing by Lincoln Feast)