International investor Jim Rogers warns that Mideast turmoil could easily escalate into a war, which would force a sea-change in today’s investing landscape.
“The whole Middle East situation is unbelievable. I cannot think of many times in history where you have so much just pure, pure chaos by so many people," he told Midasletter.com.
"It’s not as though there are one or two people making mistakes in the Middle East, there must be a dozen people making mistakes in the Middle East, and unfortunately, they are coming together more and more,” he said.
“It looks like it could end in a very, very bad way for all of us,” he said.
“Wars start when bureaucrats make mistakes and then other bureaucrats react to those mistakes and then next thing you know, you have eight or ten bureaucrats sending 18 year old kids to kill each other, and it’s very worrisome what’s happening,” he said.
“War is not good for anything, anything at all, except commodities. I’m not going to say buy commodities because you don’t want to start a war, but if there’s going to be a war, it usually means commodity prices go higher,” he said.
And would military conflict be a way to divert attention from crumbling economies and the lawmakers responsible?
“It is true that throughout history, war has been declared by politicians or bureaucrats have used war to distract people from other problems. I’m not sure that it’s a conscious act, they sit down and say ‘Ah, we’ve got a problem, so let’s start a war,’ or whether it just happens naturally, but in either case, there is no question at all that this is distracting a lot of us from the fact that the economy is not doing well,” he said.
Rogers is utilizing a shelter-in-place investment theology.
“I’m sitting and watching, not doing much of anything,” he said. “I would think that the market should be going down, because we’ve had a six-year run with virtually no corrections in the United States and therefore most of the world. I’ve bought some Russian shares recently; not much. Bought a few shares in Africa recently, not much.”
He also is uncertain just how much of a haven gold will be.
“I own some gold. I don’t think that’s what’s going to be the safe haven at the moment; it could be, I mean, if war breaks out, of course, a lot of people are going to flee into gold, and I’ll be buying more gold at $1,500 or you pick the number, and happy to get it.”
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