Sunday, January 25, 2009

Jim Rogers: Sterling in peril

“The pound is a currency with no underpinning and should fall against the dollar and the euro, says Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings and co-founder of the Quantum Fund with George Soros.

“He says his view reflects the UK’s dire economic situation: ‘It’s simple, the UK has nothing to sell.’

“Mr Rogers says the two main pillars of support for sterling have been North Sea oil and the strength of the UK financial services sector, in particular, the City of London’s role.

“But Mr Rogers says just as North Sea oil is running out, so London’s standing as a major financial centre is set to suffer.

“‘I don’t think there is a sound UK bank now, at least, if there is one I don’t know about it,’ he says.

“‘The City of London is finished, the financial centre of the world is moving east. All the money is in Asia. Why would it go back to the West? You don’t need London,’ says Mr Rogers.

“Mr Rogers thinks the pound is more vulnerable than the dollar or the euro. He says the UK housing market is arguably in a worse state than that of the US, given pockets of strength in the US and prices that are sliding across the board in the UK.

“Meanwhile, he says, the UK is in worse shape economically than the eurozone, where most countries are not big debtors and do not run huge trade deficits. ‘If the UK discovers more North Sea oil, I might change this view,’ he says. ‘But I don’t see that happening.’”

Source: Jim Rogers (via Financial Times), January 21, 2009.

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