In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Jim Rogers: ‘Britain is totally insolvent’

Posted by seumasach on December 8, 2010

The pot that called the kettle black

Always going on the attack

On closer look- I’ll tell you what!

It is the blackest of the lot

This Is Money

7th december, 2010

US speculator Jim Rogers is known for his outspoken views but today went further than usual suggesting Britain is ‘totally insolvent’.

In an interview on business TV channel CNBC, Rogers, who made his name making millions while partnered with legendary financier George Soros, suggested Britain was the true sick man of Europe.

He said: ‘Greece is insolvent, Portugal has a liquidity problem, Spain has a liquidity problem, Belgium has been cooking the books for a long time, Italy has been cooking the books for a long time and the UK is totally insolvent.’

Rogers, who has repeatedly warned that inflation and commodity prices will race ahead in coming years, was being interviewed about the next stage of the European debt crisis.

So far Greece and Ireland, with bond markets indicating their fears that the governments will not repay debts, have had to ask for bailouts from the European Union. Debts in Spain are far lower but rising rapidly, sparking concerns that it, as the euro zone’s fourth largest economy, may also run into trouble.

Rogers said: ‘You need to let Ireland go bankrupt. They are bankrupt, why should innocent Germans, Poles or anybody pay for mistakes made by Irish politicians and banks.’

Rogers has been criticised for making attention-grabbing remarks. But his views are not entirely without basis.

While debt owed by the British government is less, relatively, than the amounts faced by Ireland, Greece or Japan, the UK’s debts in total are 466% of annual economic output once consumer debt is included. That’s second only to Japan.

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