Friday, March 14, 2008

Features of the week

I'm going to try something different in today's "Features" post. Instead of the usual collection of articles, essays, and interviews, we are going to focus on a single item of interest.

Today we'll highlight a recent CNBC interview with Jim Rogers.

Rogers: "Abolish the Fed"

Here's the lead point in CNBC's article coverage: Jim Rogers: 'Abolish the Fed'.

Rogers made this statement when a CNBC anchor asked him what he would do if he were appointed Fed chairman tomorrow. Rogers replied, "I would abolish the Federal Reserve and I would resign."

And why not lead with this? It's an outrageous suggestion, at least to the bubbleheads on CNBC, who increasingly cry out for intervention from the Federal Reserve whenever anything seems to "go wrong" in the markets or the economy. They can't imagine life without the Fed; who'll bail out Wall Street when the chips are down?

Bailouts and Interventions

But aside from Rogers' comments on the Federal Reserve and their inflationary money-printing, there are also some very instructive points made here on the problems of moral hazards resulting from bailouts, and the futility of fighting off recessions and depressions.

Note his references to Japan and their 18-year struggle to lift their moribund economy. You may have noticed a recent increase in warnings about the US possibly following down this same road of prolonged recession.

Fed officials claim this could never happen, because the US system would not allow it to happen. I'm sure the Japanese officials would have told you the same thing back in 1991.

Making Money

Of course, Rogers also has some ideas for making money during this crazy period, and he shares those here as well. He continues to cite agricultural commodities as a lucrative area for investment over the next few years, saying that prices will still go higher from here.

Just remember to check everything out for yourself and do your own research if you're inclined to follow his, or anyone else's, lead in these areas.

The Bottom Line

My overall opinion: ignore Rogers at your own peril. He may not be right about everything (who is?), his timing may be off or he may be too early in calling trends, but he will eventually be proven right about many of the important trends he sees and describes.

Rogers understands history, he understands mass psychology, and he understands markets and the difference between sound economic principles and economic fallacies. He also has a tremendous amount of investing experience, and is obviously a self-motivated learner. I would not want to be on the other side of too many of his trades.

Enjoy the video, pass it along to your friends and associates, and hope it stirs some thoughts and debate.

For more on Jim Rogers, just browse our search function for relevant posts and past interviews.

Thanks for reading Finance Trends Matter. Have a great weekend, everyone.