Posts Tagged ‘George Soros’

Billionaire financier, businessman, philanthropist, and advocate of liberal idealism, Gyorgy Schwartz, more popularly known as George Soros, and his thoughts on:

Open Societies

A full and fair discussion is essential to democracy.

An open society is a society which allows its members the greatest possible degree of freedom in pursuing their interests compatible with the interests of others.

I chose America as my home because I value freedom and democracy, civil liberties and an open society.

Markets and Social Needs

I think there’s a lot of merit in an international economy and global markets, but they’re not sufficient because markets don’t look after social needs.

Markets are designed to allow individuals to look after their private needs and to pursue profit. It’s really a great invention and I wouldn’t under-estimate the value of that, but they’re not designed to take care of social needs.

Markets and Uncertainty

Stock market bubbles don’t grow out of thin air. They have a solid basis in reality, but reality as distorted by a misconception.

Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux and money is make by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected.


I’m not doing my philanthropic work, out of any kind of guilt, or any need to create good public relations. I’m doing it because I can afford to do it, and I believe in it.

War on Terror

Bush’s war in Iraq has done untold damage to the United States. It has impaired our military power and undermined the morale of our armed forces. Our troops were trained to project overwhelming power. They were not trained for occupation duties.


Just as the process of repealing national alcohol prohibition began with individual states repealing their own prohibition laws, so individual states must now take the initiative with respect to repealing marijuana prohibition laws.

Who most benefits from keeping marijuana illegal? The greatest beneficiaries are the major criminal organizations in Mexico and elsewhere that earn billions of dollars annually from this illicit trade – and who would rapidly lose their competitive advantage if marijuana were a legal commodity.

The criminalization of marijuana did not prevent marijuana from becoming the most widely used illegal substance in the United States and many other countries. But it did result in extensive costs and negative consequences.


The financial markets generally are unpredictable. So that one has to have different scenarios… The idea that you can actually predict what’s going to happen contradicts my way of looking at the market.


Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes.

The people currently in charge have forgotten the first principle of an open society, namely that we may be wrong and that there has to be free discussion. That it’s possible to be opposed to the policies without being unpatriotic.

Contrarian Thinking

The worse a situation becomes the less it takes to turn it around, the bigger the upside.

The United States

We are the most powerful nation on earth. No external power, no terrorist organization, can defeat us. But we can defeat ourselves by getting caught in a quagmire.

We must recognize that as the dominant power in the world we have a special responsibility. In addition to protecting our national interests, we must take the leadership in protecting the common interests of humanity.

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Soros joins the opposition against the austerity measures starting in Europe. As reported in Reuters:

“Right now the Germans are dragging their neighbors into deflation, which threatens a long phase of stagnation. And that leads to nationalism, social unrest and xenophobia. Democracy itself could be at risk,” he said.

Is this another jugular setup waiting to happen?

“Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld”

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Just requoting Paul Kedrosky’s post today:

What people don’t get about sovereign debt is that countries are sharks when it comes to debt and default. That is the real lesson of research and writing and history in this area – that countries have been messing around, defaulting and restructuring in debt markets for hundreds and hundreds of years. Defaults, busted banks and the like is what happens when you lend to countries that have much more experience and cynicism about their use of debt than you think they do.

This blogger through firsthand experience in a commercial bank’s risk and asset division, is witness to the financial wizardry the modern financial system employs to build the mountain of debt on which our capitalist societies exist on. In the news we are also witness to the horrors that mismanagement of debt and currency can create.

Kedrosky is not a lone voice here. We’ve captured the sentiments of others
like Gerald Celente, Max Kaiser, and Peter Schiff all of whom have put up credible arguments about how tentative and fragile a system based on debt is.

Not all who understand the system are speaking up vehemently against it. Our favorite speculator George Soros certainly understands the goings-on but is content to “game” the system for profit (and successfully too).

What this blogger finds interesting is despite all these critiques, the system continues unabated–notwithstanding the ever increasing magnitude of crises that recur. The arguments put forth by the pundits are actually dated–these sentiments have been around for as long as a monetary system has been around. Our favorite skeptical empiricist, Nassim Taleb, blames moral hazards for perpetuating the flawed system, but even the question of moral hazards isn’t new.

After all isn’t rewarding someone for “bad” behaviour the crux and aspiration of prosperity and decadence? The whole system is rigged to feed on itself! So far the common alternatives to the flawed system, barring a return to primitive times, propounded by the pundits range from a form of “modified capitalism” (shades of the Austrian School) to more “radical socialism” (e.g. Zeitgeist, Venus Project).

Which is why it far from surprises this blogger that “experience and cynicism” are the placeholders that Kedrosky chose to describe what underpins the motive of governments regarding debt. There are those who complain and those who game, but the last bucket are those who still choose to participate in the system–maybe in a fit of realism, maybe fatalism.

Meanwhile someone please buzz this blogger when and if we decide to let go of this monetary system and its sydstem of debt.

“Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld”

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A brief glimpse at those last few minutes leading up to Soros’ successful campaign against the British Pound as covered by The Atlantic.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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“Newspeak” is a term used by George Orwell in his novel: 1984, referring to a fictional language used by the totalitarian government in that story–a language that reduces meaning into simple dichotomies (i.e. good vs. evil, right vs. wrong) in order to facilitate propaganda by the state.

The the following video, juxtaposed with media-clips criticizing him, George Soros describes the practice of newspeak especially its most recent and successful example: “The War on Terror” as an idea.

We recently posted Randy David’s criticism of morality being used in politics. Moralizing in politics are also a form of newspeak.

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Stagflation is an economic phenomenon characterized by slowing economic growth and rising inflation. It is an interesting economic problem since the traditional medicine for inflation–rising interest rates–is what chokes off economic growth, thereby aggravating stagflation.

In the aftermath of the global credit crisis following the crash of the housing market, interest rates have fallen dramatically as central banks throughout the world have pumped liquidity into the system by bailing out troubled financial institutions.

However, with excessive liquidity comes inflationary fears as excess money supply will generally increase market prices (Zimbabwe being an extreme case). As inflationary fears increase, central banks will eventually be constrained to raise rates to contain inflation, which might be too soon to allow the world economies to recover–thereby creating: stagflation.

In the following clips, two notable industrialists: Richard Branson of the Virgin Group and financier George Soros share their thoughts on stagflation.

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Fareed Zakaria interviews Quantum Fund manager George Soros on CNN to hear his take on the ongoing financial crisis.

Soros, promoted the term “Reflexivity” especially as it applies to economics: which describes the tendency for market trends to become self-fulfilling and propagate itself until it eventually becomes unstable and collapses on itself. He is also a staunch critic of “Market Fundamentalism” which is the belief that markets self-regulate and tend to equilibrium, which is far from what is observed in real life: markets bubble and crash. In this interview he shares some of his insight regarding bubbles and crashes, and how the present political and financial system allows these phenomena to occur with regularity.

He describes bubbles as resulting from misconceptions, which can continue longer than people expect, but eventually misconceptions are reversed dramatically. The misconception in today’s crisis is over-leverage of the housing bubble which eventually gave way to the present economic crisis.

Unlike other critics such as Peter Schiff and Jim Rogers, Soros supports government intervention to regulate markets, since he believes that the notion that markets “self-regulate to equilibrium” is a fallacy. However, similar to skeptics like Nassim Taleb, Soros rejects any notion that markets and the future can be predicted with any accuracy since the future is always in flux depending on the actions of the present.

Soros’ distinguished track record in his successful Quantum Fund has been largely due to his uncanny ability to anticipate market bubbles and resulting panics.

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Bill Moyers interviews Soros. In this illuminating chat, Soros talks about the state of the financial system, and the prevailing belief of “Market Fundamentalism” which is: markets correct themselves. He disagrees with this and encourages more market regulation otherwise markets left on their own are prone to bubbles and crashes.


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Prominent hedgefund manager Soros shares his view on the prevailing financial turmoil.

A believer in market regulation, Soros thinks the crisis can abate if and only if governments come up with a better plan to neutralize the excesses in the financial system. Contrast his views with the laissez faire advocates such as Greenspan.

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