June 10 (Bloomberg) -- Investor Jim Rogers, who last month called the U.S. dollar a “total disaster” in the long term, said he’s buying the greenback because markets are increasingly pessimistic about the currency.
“I actually own the dollar right now,” Rogers said in a radio interview on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Tom Keene and Ken Prewitt. “I saw that 95 or 96 percent of people are bearish on the dollar, so I stepped in and bought.”
Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings in Singapore, said the U.S. government needs to cut spending and get rid of the deficit as foreign investors start to lose faith in government debt. He said he will start shorting U.S. bonds soon as inflation increases and the government issues more debt. A short is a bet the price of an asset will fall.
Net dollar short positions against the euro, yen, pound, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar and Swiss franc reached 101,398 in May, the least since January, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. The Dollar Index, which ranks the currency against its six major trading partners, has dropped about 5.8 percent this year.
U.S. government debt is about 93 percent of gross domestic product, compared with 60 percent before the 2008 financial crisis and is set to rise further in the next few years.
“We need to cut spending, we need to get rid of the deficit, we need to do something about the madness of those people in Washington,” Rogers said.
Rogers said he is “short” emerging markets and U.S. technology stocks and that prices will rise in agricultural commodities as world shortages intensify.
He said in May that he expects currency turmoil this fall and more by 2013 because of the country’s position as the world’s largest debtor and policies being pursued by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke.
--Editors: Dave Liedtka, Dennis Fitzgerald
To contact the reporters on this story: Catarina Saraiva in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org; Tom Keene in New York at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dave Liedtka at firstname.lastname@example.org