For months now, Jim Rogers has been talking to anybody (who cares to listen) about the coming equity crash, which he said would be the "worst in his lifetime" - and he's a spry 75 years old.
Today, in his latest pessimistic prognostication, the co-founder of George Soros' Quantum Fund told Bloomberg that the fact that the total US debt pile has only increased since the financial crisis threatens to upend stocks, and that he believes the current turmoil will continue until Jerome Powell and company hike rates next month. Or alternatively, it could just make the crash that much worse: as volatility surges and investors in certain highly risky volatility-linked products have seen all of their savings wiped out, the new Fed chair could rethink a hike, for fear of exacerbating the selloff.
"When we have a bear market again, and we are going to have a bear market again, it will be the worst in our lifetime," Rogers said. "Debt is everywhere, and it’s much, much higher now."
Rogers has seen severe bear markets, including the most recent crash when the Dow plunged more than 50% during the financial crisis, from a peak in October 2007 through a low in March 2009. It sank 38% from its high during the IT bubble in 2000 through a low in 2002.
"Jim has been talking about severe corrections since I started in business over 30 years ago," said Alibaba Group President Mike Evans, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker. "So I’m sure he’ll be right at some point."
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Ok, so we know the magnitude, we just don't know the timing: why not also give a time frame for this next "epic" market crash? Simple: Rogers admits he's terrible at timing selloffs, which - of course - is just as important as getting the event right.
"I’m very bad in market timing," Rogers said. "But maybe there will be continued sloppiness until March when they raise interest rates, and it looks like the market will rally."
Listen to the interview below: