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Foreign Exchange

Jim Rogers says UK is stuffed

There was a lot of coverage in the UK this week about comments from ‘high-profile market legend’™ Jim Rogers about the state of the country.

In what appears to be his own blog, Rogers advises, “his army of investment followers” to dump UK assets. “I would urge you to sell any sterling you might have. It’s finished. I hate to say it, but I would not put any money in the UK.”

The blog goes on to say: “The reaction was instant – though it is impossible to say how much was attributable to Mr Rogers. The pound slumped, by almost 4% at one point, falling to a seven-year low against the dollar and an all-time low against the Japanese yen.”

It then adds: “Not since Black Wednesday in 1992, when the currency was expelled from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, had there been such a steep fall in a day. That move was caused by Soros (sic) and Rogers (sic) hedge fund.”

Well, there’s nothing like blowing your own trumpet. Rogers’ views are probably shared by a large percentage of the UK population. After all, something prime minister Gordon Brown said back in 1992 did the rounds this week to remind us of a few home truths: “A weak currency is the sign of a weak economy, which is the sign of a weak government.”

But national pride is funny. It is one thing for the UK’s citizens to moan and groan about the state of the country, but it’s another thing entirely to be told we’re a mess by somebody from the US who crows so loudly about how he once dented our national pride. So yes, the UK may be on the road to ruin, but if it is, it’s only because we’re a couple of steps behind the US. And true, the UK doesn’t make anything it can export anymore, but then, with the exception of weapons of mass destruction, neither does the US. And if we had made WMD, we would at least be able to find them if we went looking for them. So there. 

RBS responds to Rogers: An open letter to Jim Rogers

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