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Rogers mocks Bernanke's indifference to dollar's fall
By Aaron Pan and Paul Gordon
Bloomberg News Service
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Investor Jim Rogers urged people to get out of the dollar and says he expects to be rid of all his U.S. currency assets by summer next year.
"If you have dollars, I urge you to get out," Rogers said in an interview from Singapore. He is chairman of New York-based Rogers Holdings, formerly known as Beeland Interests Inc. "That's not a currency to own."
The dollar fell 9.5 percent this year against a basket of six major currencies as a housing slump slowed the economy and losses stemming from subprime mortgage defaults spread among U.S. banks. Rogers, who said last month he was shifting out of all his dollar assets, plans to buy commodities, Japan's yen, the Chinese yuan and the Swiss franc.
Interest rate futures traded on the Chicago Board of Trade show a 72 percent chance that the central bank will lower its target rate for overnight loans between banks to 4.25 percent on Dec. 11, its third reduction this year.
Rogers, who predicted the start of the global commodities rally in 1999, criticized Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke for comments on the currency before a congressional committee on Nov. 8.
"He is a total fool," Rogers said. "He said Americans who buy only American goods are not affected if the value of the U.S. dollar goes down. I was terrified."
Bernanke said the only effect of a weaker dollar on a typical American with their wealth in dollars, buying consumer goods in dollars, would be "their buying powers, it makes imported goods more expensive."
Rogers said that's not right.
"If you only buy American products and the dollar goes down, the price of oil goes up, copper goes up, wheat goes up," he said. "That affects you. He doesn't understand the economy as far as I can see."
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