Prominent American investor Jim Rogers has warned in a new book that the worst economic downturn in his lifetime is around the corner and that Japan’s future is in jeopardy unless it takes serious steps to deal with staggering debt and a declining birth rate.
In an interview with The Japan Times in Tokyo on Tuesday, the chairman of Rogers Holdings Co. Inc. said that even though the United States and China are poised to reach a trade agreement, any euphoric mood will be temporary. He predicted that U.S. President Donald Trump will ramp up trade wars in earnest to boost his re-election bid in 2020 as the economy slows down.
“Later this year or next, when things are getting bad in the world economy — therefore America is going to start suffering — and Mr. Trump has an election in 2020, he is going to say ‘we got to bash these guys,’” Rogers said. “That’s when Japan, China and other people are going to feel more effects of trade war because he thinks it will help him win the election.”
Rogers jointly established a commodity fund known as the Quantum Fund with influential investor George Soros in the 1970s. He is visiting Japan this week to promote his book, “The Future of Japan and The World That Will Be Read Through the Flow of Money” released in January. The book, available in Japanese, is based on the publisher’s interviews with Rogers.
In the book, he foresees a catastrophic economic downturn within a year or two due to the “unprecedented” level of debt worldwide. The Institute of International Finance reported that global debt soared to $247 trillion in the first quarter of 2018, and Rogers said debt has increased by $75 trillion, or 43 percent, since 2008.