International investor Jim Rogers urged Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen to resign because she is clueless and abolish the nation’s central bank before they hike rates, cause a panic and have ease monetary policy all over again.
“She [Yellen] doesn’t know what she’s doing. She shouldn’t be there. She is an academic who has no clue,” he told Fox Business Network.
“None of them do… They should abolish the Federal Reserve and resign,” he said.
Rogers, founder of Rogers Holdings and an original partner in George Soros’ Quantum Fund, claims that the near-zero percent interest rates are only manipulating the markets.
“Low interest rates are destroying the people that save and invest. Pension plans, trust companies, insurance companies — we’re destroying all the people that save their money for a rainy day and now they are being ruined… to bail out people who get it wrong — who ran up huge debts who didn’t have the money," he said.
"We are ruining the country with this idea,” he said.
Meanwhile, he told Yahoo Finance
that the Fed is probably going to raise interest rates – maybe even this week and certainly this year.
“What’s going to happen is, the rates are going to go higher, markets are going to go down, people are going to call up and say, ‘You must save civilization,’” he predicts.
“They’ll panic and then come riding to the rescue” by easing monetary policy again.
Rogers suggests the markets have been “panicking because we’re going to start having financial problems in the world in the next year or two — we already are.”
He said financial-market crises tend to reoccur every four to six years. “We’re overdue – the markets are smart enough to know that.”
Rogers told Yahoo that he doesn’t own a single U.S. stock. He owns some Chinese and Russian equities and said he is bullish on agricultural assets.
“There’s one company that I’m the director of that has been one of the best stocks in the world,” he told Fox Business Network. “It’s called PhosAgro
… But mainly I’m watching — I’m doing nothing… I’m not a buyer of gold… I haven’t bought gold in a long time. I still like farmers [agriculture]… I’m not buying iron ore under [any] circumstances but gold, silver under a thousand — I’d buy gold; oil is making its bottom,” he told Fox Business Network.
He also warned that we haven’t worried the last about China.
“We haven’t had an economic slowdown for over 6 years in the world — we’re overdue... and the next time it comes it’s going to be a disaster because the debt is so much higher everywhere," he said.
"Eventually the market is going to raise interest rates and that’s when the disasters work… when the central banks have no more control. In 2008, the Chinese had a lot of money saved up so they can spend a lot of money to help save us. They’ve got debt too themselves now, the debt that’s gone up there is horrendous, that’s going to be a big problem next time.”
Meanwhile, a chorus of prominent detractors, including former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, argues raising rates now would be wrong given market turmoil caused by worries about China's economic health and global growth, and the absence of inflation risks at home.
Others say the central bank's credibility will suffer if it delays the long-telegraphed move and prolongs investors' guessing game about the timing of the lift-off.
The central bank, for its part, has left the door open to a modest rate rise on Thursday, following a two-day meeting. Recent comments by Fed officials suggest it will try to comfort investors with pledges that whatever it decides it will keep nurturing the economic recovery.
"The Fed is anxious to get started," Scott Minerd, chief investment officer at Guggenheim Partners, in Los Angeles, told Reuters.
"If it were to move I think it would go out of its way to say ... there's no rush to do anything else," he said.
"If it doesn't, it will refer to the market turmoil, and say that ... a rate increase is inevitable."
Andrew Levin, who served as a special adviser to former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and then-Vice Chair Janet Yellen from 2010 to 2012, told Bloomberg News
that it would be a big mistake for the Fed to raise interest rates this week and said the central bank should hold policy steady until well into 2016.
Levin, who is now a professor at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, contends that the U.S. is probably about two years away from achieving full employment, no matter what the jobless rate suggests and Federal Reserve officials think.
At 5.1 percent, joblessness is in line with the level that most Fed policy makers reckoned in June was the equivalent of full employment. (They'll be releasing updated estimates Thursday after a two-day meeting). That suggests that wage increases will start to accelerate—and inflation begin to rise—as employers find it increasingly difficult to hire the workers they want without paying them higher salaries.
"The true unemployment rate—including hidden unemployment and underemployment—stands at around 7.25 percent,'' Levin wrote in his blog on Sept. 9, adding his estimate of slack to the 5.1 percent jobless rate in August. "Initiating monetary tightening at this juncture would be a serious policy error."
(Newsmax wires contributed to this story).
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