Jim Rogers Says Financial Crisis Hasn't Hit Its Worst
May 8 (Bloomberg) -- Jim Rogers, co-founder of the Quantum Fund with George Soros, said the global credit squeeze triggered by U.S. housing-loan delinquencies may not be nearing an end.
``I doubt that we're half way through the financial crisis,'' Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, said at a Barclays Plc press conference in Singapore. ``We certainly haven't hit the bottom as far as I'm concerned.''
Rogers' comments contradict those by heads of Wall Street investment banks and by Soros, who yesterday said the ``acute phase'' of the financial crisis is nearing an end even as the U.S. economy only now starts to feel the effect.
The world's largest banks and securities firms have posted $319 billion of asset writedowns and credit losses since the beginning of 2007, and slashed 65,000 jobs in the past 10 months as the crisis deepened.
``Most of the European banks and Asian banks haven't taken a huge write-off yet,'' Rogers said. ``I suspect there are more write-offs to come in Europe and Asia.''
Rogers said he isn't buying financial stocks and is betting on a further drop in the share prices of U.S. investment banks, Fannie Mae and home builders as the global credit crisis reduces investor appetite for all but the safest assets such as U.S. Treasury debt, depressing stock and bond prices.
Still, stocks have rallied since JPMorgan Chase & Co., the third-biggest U.S. bank, agreed to buy Bear Stearns Cos. with the Federal Reserve's backing almost two months ago. The MSCI World Index has gained 10 percent since touching a one-year low on March 17.
Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit said April 22 that the credit-market contraction is abating, echoing remarks by Jamie Dimon, his counterpart at JPMorgan, who said April 16 that the credit-market freeze is more than half over. Richard Fuld, chief of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Morgan Stanley head John Mack have offered similar assessments.