George Soros, Hungarian as Soros György, born Schwartz György

George
Soros, Hungarian as Soros György, born Schwartz György
1930

Hungarian-born American Fiancier, Businessman and Philanthropist, Chairman of Soros Fund Management

Author Quotes

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.

The trouble with you, Byron [Byron Wein – Morgan Stanley], is that you go to work every day [and think] you should do something. I don’t, I only go to work on the days that make sense to go to work. And I really do something on that day. But you go to work and you do something every day and you don’t realize when it’s a special day.

Up to those amounts the countries concerned would be able to access international capital markets at prime rates. Beyond these, the creditors would have to beware.

When you try to improve society…adverse consequences occur.

The global crisis is caused by pathologies inherent in the global financial system itself.

The truth is; successful investing is a kind of alchemy.

War and occupation create innocent victims. We count the body bags of American soldiers; there have been more than 1000 in Iraq. The rest of the world also looks at the Iraqis who get killed daily. There have been 15 times more. Some were trying to kill our soldiers; far too many were totally innocent, including many women and children. Every innocent death helps the terrorists' cause by stirring anger against America and bringing them potential recruits.

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 invasion of Afghanistan was justified: that was where Osama bin Laden lived and al Qaeda had its training camps. The invasion of Iraq was not similarly justified.

The war in Iraq was misconceived from start to finish — if it has a finish. It is a war of choice, not of necessity, as President Bush claims. It goes without saying that Saddam was a tyrant, and it is good to be rid of him. But in invading Iraq as we did, without a second UN resolution, we violated international law. By mistreating and even torturing prisoners, we violated the Geneva conventions. President Bush has boasted that we do not need a permission slip from the international community, but our disregard for international law has endangered our security, particularly the security of our troops.

We are losing the values that have made America great. The destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Center was such a horrendous event that it required a strong response. But the President committed a fundamental error in thinking: the fact that the terrorists are manifestly evil does not make whatever counter-actions we take automatically good. What we do to combat terrorism may also be wrong. Recognizing that we may be wrong is the foundation of an open society.

You have the potential of a breakdown of the entire system if you have a slowdown of economic activity in the center even as inflationary pressures mount... We're on the edge of it, yes.

The main difference between me and other people who have amassed this kind of money is that I am primarily interested in ideas, and I don't have much personal use for money. But I hate to think what would have happened if I hadn't made money: My ideas would not have gotten much play.

The war on terror as defined by President Bush is a one-dimensional presentation of reality. We cannot fight terrorism by military means alone. We can use military force only when we have a known target; but it is the habit of terrorists to keep their whereabouts hidden. To track them down we need the support of the populations amongst whom they hide. Offense is not necessarily the best defense if it offends those whose allegiance we need.

We are the dominant power. And that imposes on us a responsibility to be actually concerned with the well-being of the world. Because we set the agenda. And there are a lot of problems, including terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, that can only be tackled by collective action. And we ought to be leading that collective action, instead of riding roughshod over other people's opinions and interests.

You know, I learned at a very early age that what kind of social system or political system prevails is very important. Not just for your well-being, but for your very survival. Because, you know, I could have been killed by the Nazis. I could have wasted my life under the Communists. So, that's what led me to this idea of an open society. And that is the idea that is motivating me.

The main obstacle for a new world order is America.

The war on terror is an abstraction. But the terrorists are real people and they are not all alike. Most of the people attacking our soldiers in Iraq originally had nothing to do with al Qaeda. They have been generated by the policies of the Bush administration. We have been spared a terrorist attack at home but it is quite a stretch to attribute that to the invasion of Iraq. The insurrection in Iraq, however, is a somber reality and it doesn't make us safer at home. Our security, far from improving as President Bush claims, is deteriorating.

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.

You know, these things interested me before I became a businessman and I kind of neglected them during twenty, twenty-five years, while I was engaged in making money, because running a hedge fund takes, you know, a hundred percent of your attention on Saturday morning, and so I didn't get involved in these issues very much. It's only when I was rather successful at it and I've made enough money for my personal needs and to look after my family that we established this interest and, by now, it is more important to me than my business.

The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States. This is a harsh — indeed, for me, painful — thing to say, but unfortunately I am convinced it is true. The United States continues to set the agenda for the world in spite of its loss of influence since 9/11, and the Bush administration is setting the wrong agenda. The Bush agenda is nationalistic: it emphasizes the use of force and ignores global problems whose solution requires international cooperation. The rest of the world dances to the tune the United States is playing, and if that continues too long we are in danger of destroying our civilization. Changing the attitude and policies of the United States remains my top priority.

The world order needs a major overhaul.

We face a vicious circle of escalating violence. President Bush ran on the platform of a humble foreign policy in 2000. If we re-elect him now, we endorse the Bush doctrine of preemptive action and the invasion of Iraq, and we will have to live with the consequences.

The main obstacle to further progress on the resource curse is China, and to a lesser extent India.

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

Author Picture
First Name
George
Last Name
Soros, Hungarian as Soros György, born Schwartz György
Birth Date
1930
Bio

Hungarian-born American Fiancier, Businessman and Philanthropist, Chairman of Soros Fund Management