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Jim Rogers: big problems lie in wait

Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, reckons we're about to see the worst bear market of his lifetime.

"I expect in the next couple of years we’re going to have the worst bear market in my lifetime,” veteran investor Jim Rogers tells Bloomberg. While the rebound in stocks may continue for now, greater problems lie in wait. The economic impact of the coronavirus crisis “will not be over quickly” because “a gigantic amount of debt” has been added onto businesses that have been hurt by lockdowns and travel bans.

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The recessionary effects of this will take time to work through, he tells Barron’s MarketBrief. “We haven’t seen the end of this. I’ve never seen… a recession that cleans out the economy in 90 days.” That’s why Rogers ”owns a lot of US dollars”, even though he thinks the greenback is a “terribly flawed” currency. “The US dollar is not a safe haven, we’re the largest debtor nation in the history of the world. But people think it’s a safe haven… it’s going to go up during all of this turmoil.” He’s been buying gold and silver since last summer and is bullish on sugar, which is down 75%-80% from its all-time highs. “We’re not going to stop using sugar.”

Rogers holds some Chinese and Russian stocks and is considering investing in Japan, he tells Bloomberg. He is also waiting to invest in sectors such as tourism and transport (including airlines), which have been severely hit, when the recovery starts. “The Chinese economy is opening again, people are going back to work,” he says. “Factories, restaurants are opening again. Life is not such that we are all going to take the bus and take boats again.”

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