Friday, December 12, 2008

Jim Rogers: Most US Banks "Totally Bankrupt"

One of the most successful investors of the past couple decades has had some pretty strong criticism of the US response to the banking crisis. In a recent interview, Jim Rogers had this to say about the bailout:

"Without giving specific names, most of the significant American banks, the larger banks, are bankrupt, totally bankrupt," said Rogers, who is now a private investor.

"What is outrageous economically and is outrageous morally is that normally in times like this, people who are competent and who saw it coming and who kept their powder dry go and take over the assets from the incompetent," he said. "What's happening this time is that the government is taking the assets from the competent people and giving them to the incompetent people and saying, now you can compete with the competent people. It is horrible economics."

"Governments are making mistakes," he said. "They're saying to all the banks, you don't have to tell us your situation. You can continue to use your balance sheet that is phony.... All these guys are bankrupt, they're still worrying about their bonuses, they're still trying to pay their dividends, and the whole system is weakened."

Something to think about as the US ponders the next round of bailouts, this time to the automakers.

Full article, via Reuters, can be found here.

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