Bryan Caplan  

Jim Rogers: What He's Saying, Where He's Gone

Vertical LM is Not Vertical AS... Greg Mankiw Gets Technical...
Jim Rogers, investment biker and co-founder with Soros of the Quantum Fund, says we should let AIG fail:
"Suppose AIG goes bankrupt, it is better that AIG goes bankrupt and we have a horrible two or three years than that the whole US goes bankrupt," Rogers said. "AIG has trillions of dollars of obligations, let them fail, let the courts sort it out and start over. Otherwise we'll never start over."


"You are watching something in front of our eyes, very historically, which is basically the destruction of New York as a financial center and the destruction of America as the world's most powerful country."
A lot of this seems over the top even to me.  But he's no hypocrite.  Unlike Alec Baldwin, Rogers actually has fled the country.  He now resides in... [drum roll please] ... Singapore!
In December 2007, Rogers sold his mansion in New York City for about 16 million USD and moved to Singapore. This is due mainly in his belief that this is a ground-breaking time for investment potential in Asian markets. Rogers' first daughter is now being tutored in Mandarin to prepare her for the future, he says. "Moving to Asia now is like moving to New York City in 1907," he said. Also, he is quoted to say: "If you were smart in 1807 you moved to London, if you were smart in 1907 you moved to New York City, and if you are smart in 2007 you move to Asia."

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COMMENTS (24 to date)
Steve Sailer writes:

A real patriot ...

InflationHedge writes:

A good interview with Jim Rogers:

Joseph writes:

Jim Rogers has his good moments, but his predictions about commodities have been way off the mark.

Zdeno writes:

p(collapse of western civilization as we know it within the next 20 years) = .3

I don't fault Jim for his choice. Nor do I fault the many productive and law-abiding Europeans who are fleeing the crime, taxation and lawlessness that exist in their places of birth.

Singapore (and I imagine China will be following close behind) is embracing all of the best aspects of Western Civ and very few of the worst. Perhaps they've earned a try at the whole empire thing. We certainly haven't.



Blackadder writes:

My Dad was talking to me today about moving to Chile on roughly the same grounds.

Bob Montgomery writes:

I dunno. Just seems like high-stakes market-timing to me; maybe he can pull it off, but it doesn't seem generalizable. What if he's off by 20 years?

But in any case, from what I can tell, the rest of the world seems, generally, in worse shape than the US - and if things go belly-up worldwide, I'd much rather be a native-born citizen in the country that has a 200+ year history of economic, political, and religious freedom than the odd-duck, foreign-born white guy in the continent where that same long history of freedom just isn't there.

Jayson Virissimo writes:

How many millions have you made in commodities markets? I would say Jim Rogers is doing just fine.

Stewart Griffin writes:

"What if he's off by 20 years?"

He's very rich, so whatever happens he will be fine.

Methinks writes:

A real patriot ...

And what exactly were your ancestors when they fled the country of their birth to come to the United States, Steve Sailor?

Smart people go where they have the most opportunity. It seems that the United States is sliding down the list of destination countries.

dearieme writes:

"Smart people go where they have the most opportunity." Maybe. But in much of Europe smart people who thought they could succeed in the fierce competition of societies where the niches were already occupied, stayed: those who were less sure went to America.

Tom writes:

If the government’s share of GDP rises from around 20% to around 30% or 35%, won't he be fundamentally right? Won't this be the beginning of the end for the US as the world’s most powerful country if the unprecedented expansion of government is not reversed in 4 years?

Bob Montgomery writes:
"What if he's off by 20 years?"

He's very rich, so whatever happens he will be fine.

By that logic he should just stay in the US. The point is that he's trying to find an advantage by, essentially, predicting the economic future of the world.

I'm skeptical.

STO writes:

I've thought for a very long time that my children's generation (late teens/early twenties) would be the first to leave our shores for greater opportunity. I'm afraid I'll be proven right. The US may remain a very good place to live for generations to come but there will be greater opportunity elsewhere.

Guy Tower writes:

You say "patriot" like that's a good thing. Patriot typically means someone who is willing to hurt others based on where they were born. You can like where you live without all the semi-mystical motherland/fatherland crap that patriotism has at its' heart.

Jim Rodgers is doing what most intelligent people who want to live peaceful and prosperous lives would do. Moving himself and his ffamily to where the opportunities are best for them.. just like the people who moved here were doing. He is truer to what we consider the the spirit of those who founded this country than most of the people who actually live here today.

8 writes:

These trends take decades to play out. The U.S. will always be a wealthy country with freedom, but if you are smart and capable, you will move to places that offer the greatest rewards.

China, short of a break down, will attract people if only because it will grow faster than the West. However, throw in the implied tax rates from Social Security and Medicare, plus the attacks on tax shelters, and its clear that young people would be wise to physically relocate overseas.

Methinks writes:

But in much of Europe smart people who thought they could succeed in the fierce competition of societies where the niches were already occupied, stayed

Of course they did. In socialist societies what's important is not what you know but who you know. If you're close to power or otherwise have an "in", why would you risk your sure thing for the unknown of the United States? That wouldn't be smart.

Matt C writes:

> A lot of this seems over the top even to me.

Huh. Rhetorically it is extreme, but I think the decline that we're in is for the long term. We'll have a recovery, yes, but we'll never be quite the same again. I just hope the slide down doesn't get too ugly.

shayne writes:

Vastly more problematic for the U.S. economy than Jim Rogers leaving is the fact that his capital had already left.

Jeremy, Alabama writes:

So what? If your finances are such that you have a $16M mansion to sell, you could live in the north pole and be happy.

wab writes:

Mr. Rogers can say whatever… and move to wherever… The salient fact is what passport he travels on and what citizenship he holds....???? As Americans are subject to tax on ALL world income…. minus a deductable for over-seas residents… at the end-of-the-day one is responsible back to one’s country of citizenship; as there are no “International Passports”.

expat writes:

wab, can you think of a better reason to give up your citizenship? If he has become a citizen of Singapore, which I believe is the case, none of this is relevant.

Cheers. (Likely the happiest thing you'll see in a very long time).

Stu writes:

whats the big deal wait till it goes pair shaped and then moove to timbucktoo

Victoria writes:

"expat writes:
wab, can you think of a better reason to give up your citizenship? If he has become a citizen of Singapore, which I believe is the case, none of this is relevant.
Posted March 10, 2009 2:40 PM"

I think this is the most interesting thing to see... Jim always proclaims he's 100% American, and he's only a Singapore resident, but I wonder if he'll eventually give up his US citizenship. The thing is, Singapore is one of the few countries that REQUIRE that new citizens renounce their old citizenships (most countries don't care).
In the US, if tax evasion is identified as the reason why you are renouncing your citizenship, you'll still have to pay to Uncle Sam. So if Jim wants to get rid of future tax liabilities to the States, he can say that he HAS to give up his US citizenship because of Singapore laws and his desire to become Singaporean.

Obviously, it's nothing but my speculation, but I find it interesting that he has that option and I wonder what he'll do, especially given looming estate tax concerns...

Victoria writes:

By the way, I definitely wouldn't judge him at all for that! He should do what's best for his family and what reflects his vision of the world.

I had an option of moving permanently to the States, but due to taxation, chose to live in another OECD but stick to US visas instead of going the green card route (which automatically means I would have to pay the IRS even if I decide to move abroad!)

Some day, I definitely plan to move to Asia (preferably mainland China) myself. I just want to improve my Mandarin first.

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