Economics

George Soros Predicts Apocalypse, Has Dinner

|

damaged the system itself

Bloomberg reports on a little doomsaying from billionaire opponent of "market fundamentalism" George Soros:

George Soros said the current economic upheaval has its roots in the financial deregulation of the 1980s and signals the end of a free-market model that has since dominated capitalist countries.

Liberalization of the financial industry begun by the Reagan administration has led to a series of crises forcing government intervention, Soros told economists and bankers at a Feb. 20 private dinner at Columbia University in New York. The global recession, triggered by the collapse of the U.S. housing market, has "damaged the financial system itself," he said….

"The economy went into freefall and is still falling and we don't know where the bottom will be until we get there and there's no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom," he said. 

NEXT: Insert Annoying Lyric from The Who Here

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. So, Soros really is a commie rat fink after all?

    The current economic crisis didn’t start in the 1980s, it started in 1913 with the establishment of the third unconstitutional central bank.

    -jcr

  2. This thread is going to be filled with Teh Crazy in five, four, three, two…

  3. George Soros, a member of the billionaire financial elite who made his fortune by taking advantage of his knowledge of the mistakes being made by central bankers, has joined the rest of the politico-fiat currency elite in declaring the end of economic liberty. His solution to the crisis is: Give him and others like him even more power over our lives.

    I don’t think they know what they’re doing, and to the extent that they do, they are arranging the rules to further enrich themselves and tighten their grip on monetary and political power.

    For evidence of this, just follow the money: Who’s getting the lion’s share of the bailout money? Trillions for the bankers, and tens of billions for select groups of politically well connected industries. The average person is getting a higher tax bill, inflation that will destroy his meager savings, and and ever growing thicket of rules and regulations over his life.

    How fortunate for the financial elites, that the popular view is to give them ever more power and money so they can ‘fix’ and ‘stabilize’ the system.

  4. I dont trust nobody with them freaky bug eyes…

    Shrugg

  5. How fortunate for the financial elites, that the popular view is to give them ever more power and money so they can ‘fix’ and ‘stabilize’ the system.

    That’s starting to change. Ron Paul put things back on the agenda that had been given up for lost a very long time ago.

    -jcr

  6. A guy is is banking on government intervention to get even richer is decrying the free market. Yawn.

  7. Ugh, “who is”

  8. Since his picture is here, I wonder what Rodney Dangerfield would have said about this.

  9. Rodney would be glad George wasn’t wearing a red tie.

  10. Rodney would be glad George wasn’t wearing a red tie.

    Duh! What was I thinking? He looks nothing at all like Rodney without a red tie.

  11. Soros scares the fuck out of me.

    He is a real-life supervillain, a Lex Luthor with no Superman to kick his ass.

  12. That isn’t a red tie. That’s the pork chop Rodney’s parents tied around his neck so that the dog would play with him.

  13. This thread is going to be filled with Teh Crazy in five, four, three, two…

    you seem to be under the mistaken impression that George Soros is quoted in the original post. If he ain’t TEH CRAZIE I don’t know who is.

  14. Someone needs to invent a term for billionaires who constantly criticize the free market that allowed them to make their fortunes.

  15. “you seem to be under the mistaken impression that George Soros is quoted in the original post. If he ain’t TEH CRAZIE I don’t know who is.”

    Yes, but the only person crazier than Soros is the people who think he controls the entire universe and single-handedly engineered the recession.

  16. Someone needs to invent a term for billionaires who constantly criticize the free market that allowed them to make their fortunes.

    The Illuminati?

  17. “The economy went into freefall and is still falling and we don’t know where the bottom will be until we get there and there’s no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom,” he said.

    You know George, speaking a sentence like that with no punctuation or pauses can cause severe colon spas…Oh, too late.

  18. Hey….Shakespeare for everybody!!!

  19. Someone needs to invent a term for billionaires who constantly criticize the free market that allowed them to make their fortunes.

    Yes, just as we should create a list for all the politicians who cynically had themselves elected only to hypocritically advocate for political reform.


  20. Yes, but the only person crazier than Soros is the people who think he controls the entire universe and single-handedly engineered the recession.

    Relax . . . Those are just the voices in your head.

  21. If only Soros practiced what he preached. He can give me all his money and I will direct his life as I deem it should be directed. It’s all for his benefit of course.

  22. Yo, fuck George Soros.

  23. George Soros predicts apocalypse, has dinner?

    Couldn’t the same be said for everyone who writes for Reason? Or are you guys fasting?

  24. Must be nice to be able to make a lot of shorts in the market, then get on TV, pronounce doom, and make a huge profit…

  25. Someone needs to invent a term for billionaires who constantly criticize the free market that allowed them to make their fortunes.

    “Imaginary.”

    No one is a billionaire (for long) in a free market.

    Billionaires understand this.

  26. Predict catastrophe no sooner than five years hence but no later than 10 years away, soon enough to terrify but distant enough that people will forget if you are wrong.
    –Gregg Easterbrook

  27. George Soros, a member of the billionaire financial elite who made his fortune by taking advantage of his knowledge of the mistakes being made by central bankers, has joined the rest of the politico-fiat currency elite in declaring the end of economic liberty. His solution to the crisis is: Give him and others like him even more power over our lives.

    Yeah, but overall he’s been very good for individual liberty — helped bring down the Iron Curtain, founded the Open Society Institute, promotes drug reform. Very anti-totalitarian and puts his money where his mouth is.

  28. I have a hard time believing that this guy and Jim Rogers founded a hedge fund together. It seems like they should get along about as well as magnesium and water, or maybe chimps and Xanax.

  29. Huh. So Reason is on the anti-Soros crazy train? Explains a lot, I guess.

  30. Someone needs to invent a term for billionaires who constantly criticize the free market that allowed them to make their fortunes.

    One of the really fun things about this market crash has been watching Warren Buffett blow every dime he ever made in a bunch of stupid bets on financials and a rising S&P 500 index.

  31. Right, because there were no recessions, depressions or financial crises before Reagan (or before the end of the gold standard, or before Federal Reserve, or before ___________.).

    Soros then went on to point out that deaths in aircraft crashes were almost unknown before the Wright brothers, and that government regulation should help us return to that better, safer age.

  32. The U.S. housing industry, the collapse of which Soros seems to be saying has sent us into this current unhappy state, has had about as much resemblence to a free market over the last several decades as the U.S. aircraft carrier industry. Soros surely is aware of this, thus it can be reasonably comcluded that he is simply lying in pursuit of more power.

  33. Guess who took over Indimac in CA for nothing after his friend in the US Senate caused a bank run to drive it to bankruptcy and Federal receivership?

  34. “Liberalization of the financial industry begun by the Reagan administration has led to a series of government intervention forcing crises,….”

    There. Fixed it for him.

  35. lying in pursuit of more power

    The core value in American politics and business.
    Every word uttered by a politician, every contract put on paper.
    Beginning with the dollar itself.

  36. Soros, in his best Rodney Dangerfield voice, to the other Illuminati:

    “Hey everybody, we’re all gonna get PAID”

  37. Soros is a rosy optimist.

  38. Soros has been the puppet master of the Democrat Party for years now as he gave his puppets their marching orders. It isn’t exactly shocking that the bastard would be doing everything possible to continue causing problems.

    I hope he burns in hell and the sooner the better! He can take Pelosi – Obama – Reid and the rest of the criminals with him when he goes.

  39. Too bad he didn’t choke to death on that dinner.

  40. So, this punk gets rich in our country and then sets out to destroy it? He sounds like the elite left out in Hollywood and the idiot politicians.

    He can predict an apocalypse and I’ll predict that he dies soon and will never know. Enjoy death George and do it soon.

  41. Pure evil isn’t he? Soros has spent hundreds of millions dollars in this sick desire to destroy us. He congresswo/men and wanted something for his money. Now he owns a president…

    I’m with the earlier poster that wishes Soros a speedy trip to hell.

  42. Soros was at least correct that the global recession, triggered by the collapse of the U.S. housing market, has “damaged the financial system itself,” and we can thank:

    Jimmy Carter
    Barney Frank
    Chris Dodd
    Maxine Waters
    Bill Clinton
    Black Caucus
    ACORN
    Barack Obama

    AND most of all, you can thank the likes of George Soros who not only paid politicians in the US but is one of the largest hedge fund traders around.

  43. The legal definition of Chutzpah is killing your parents and demanding mercy from the Court because you’re an orphan.

    Soros stands there with buckets of gasoline next to him and a burnt out match in his hand as the house goes up in flames behind him and he expresses shock at the suffering the Fire Department couldn’t prevent.

  44. Based on his multiple daily shrieks that an economic apocalypse is upon us, I am convinced the malignant Peloponnesian troll clearly has a huge interest in an economic disaster. He is doing everything he can to bring about an even worse economy. He is acting just like a man who has shorted astronomical amounts of a wide spectrum of stocks and commodities, and who will be utterly destroyed unless he can ensure the economy virtually collapses. But if he gets lucky and can leverage a recession into a depression, his take will be so unimaginably huge that in one fell swoop he will join the ranks of the ultra-ultra-rich.

  45. Soros can’t die too soon; one of the most truly evil men alive.

  46. The intern in charge of finding photos for the blog should have his pay double and the sexual favors required of him cut in half. He is really doing an outstanding job.

  47. Soros made his fortune on currency speculation – playing the spread between the dollar, pound, DM, franc, and yen. He is arguably the only man in history to become a billionaire without creating any new wealth in the process.

    His other source of income is his shadowy banking interests in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere, long suspected of being a massive money laundering scheme (but no direct evidence has ever been produced, perhaps due to the financial secrecy laws in the Carribean jurisdictions where he operates).

    As jum1801 wonders above, it is entirely possible Soros has taken major short positions and is trying to feed the negativism for his personal benefit.

  48. Songwriter | February 24, 2009, 12:59am | #
    …and we can thank:

    Jimmy Carter
    Barney Frank
    Chris Dodd
    Maxine Waters
    Bill Clinton
    Black Caucus
    ACORN
    Barack Obama

    No Republicans, eh? Right, I forgot how skilled, knowledgeable, and effective they’ve been economically. Real champions for free markets.

  49. if the deregulation of reagan lead to this current cesspool, does he offer why Europe is worse off than we are?

    no word from soros on why the EU can’t borrow money…but it might have something to do with their current external debt.

  50. Wait…so the prosperity and high rolling Clinton years that have been the benchmarks for excoriating Bush were not the high water mark after all, but were just froth on the chaos? Oh NOW we find out. 😉

  51. Problems started in the 1930s with govt getting too large, too powerful, and too controlling. Once our govt (federal, state, and local) hit nearly 40% of GDP, we were in big trouble. Then, Clinton regulations requiring banks and S&Ls make huge #s of loans to poor people, we really ramped up the home-inflation spiral.
    Good god, half of us workers pay most of the taxes. If we could keep more than 50% of our paychecks, most people wouldn’t have needed SO MUCH CREDIT!! Could have saved more and quickly, for cars and homes for MUCH HIGHER DOWNPAYMENTS. Govt taxation has hurt us big-time, and Democrats have led the way, and now want it to be worse. Go figure.

  52. Schiff claims [something like] we went bancrupt under Nixon and have fudged our way out in the years since.

    I think the early 1900s would have been a great time to be alive: all of the inventions and great minds; and freedom that none of us would recognize by today’s standards.

  53. George Soros: another reason why invention of the guillotine was a good thing.

  54. I wasn’t aware of this shit about good ol George Soros:

    (excerpt)

    KROFT: (Voiceover) And you watched lots of people get shipped off to the death camps.

    Mr. SOROS: Right. I was 14 years old. And I would say that that’s when my character was made.

    KROFT: In what way?

    Mr. SOROS: That one should think ahead. One should understand and–and anticipate events and when–when one is threatened. It was a tremendous threat of evil. I mean, it was a–a very personal experience of evil.

    KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.

    Mr. SOROS: Yes. Yes.

    KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.

    Mr. SOROS: Yes. That’s right. Yes.

    KROFT: I mean, that’s–that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?

    Mr. SOROS: Not–not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don’t–you don’t see the connection. But it was–it created no–no problem at all.

    KROFT: No feeling of guilt?

    Mr. SOROS: No.

    KROFT: For example that, ‘I’m Jewish and here I am, watching these people go. I could just as easily be there. I should be there.’ None of that?

    Mr. SOROS: Well, of course I c–I could be on the other side or I could be the one from whom the thing is being taken away. But there was no sense that I shouldn’t be there, because that was–well, actually, in a funny way, it’s just like in markets–that if I weren’t there–of course, I wasn’t doing it, but somebody else would–would–would be taking it away anyhow. And it was the–whether I was there or not, I was only a spectator, the property was being taken away. So the–I had no role in taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt. (George Soros, 60 Minutes interview transcript, December 20, 1998)

    ^^^^^sick fuck

  55. Would like to be the fly on the wall as Soros’ funds stake and cut loose positions that undoubtedly are helping drive US and the world to his vision of collectivist poverty.

    Hail the head pig, Soros!

  56. I think the early 1900s would have been a great time to be alive: all of the inventions and great minds; and freedom that none of us would recognize by today’s standards.

    I think you need to move your brain back into your skull and reconsider that statement. Sheesh.

  57. ^^^^^sick fuck

    I think Soros’s is a perfectly reasonable reaction to such a terrible situation as a 14-year-old subject to government propaganda.

  58. So if there really isn’t any such thing as a free market wouldn’t that make Soros a manipulator and a leech? Off to the gulag with him!

  59. “^^^^^sick fuck”

    how so? acting otherwise gets yet another 14 year old killed by the nazis.

    i don’t agree with him either but c’mon.

  60. Soros is not a communist; he just believes in proper regulation of the markets. (In fact, he has given hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, to anti-communist programs.) If a government doesn’t regulate the markets properly, he will be the first to jump in and fuck with the system. Read the whole Bloomberg article. Oh, and betting against him is a bad idea:

    Soros’s Quantum Endowment Fund returned 8 percent last year. That compared with an average loss of 18 percent by hedge funds, according to data compiled by Hedge Fund Research Inc. of Chicago.

    How many people do you know who made money in this market? Not very fucking many.

  61. Soros is an adult now. If he has no feeling of guilt, he has no conscience.

    Notice he doesn’t say he confiscated the property of Jews because he would be killed if he didn’t. If that were the case, I couldn’t condemn it. He also does not say that he did this at age 14 and he knew then or knows now how wrong it was, and he feels sorry about it, or at the very least embarrassed. No, he feels just fine about the whole thing because “if I weren’t there–of course, I wasn’t doing it, but somebody else would–would–would be taking it away anyhow”. There is nothing in there to suggest another 14 year old would be killed if he didn’t do this. That’s a line of reasoning that works for all sorts of criminal acitivity – real criminal activity with real victims, not just drug sales. I’m sure the identity thieves and Nigerian Bank scammers think the same way.

  62. bigbigslacker-He’s a capitalist. Capitalists look out for number one first. That’s how the system works. He even mentions the markets in his response.

  63. Mango, that is one of the most awesome pictures I’ve ever seen on H&R.

  64. I know that facts are often things that Soros prefers to ignore, but just so we’re clear: the deregulation trend actually began in the late ’70s, under the Carter Administration.

  65. I’m nowhere near prepared to label a Jew who survived Nazi Germany as a child by sidekicking with someone committed to saving his life a “sick fuck” just because he refuses to condemn himself for it as an old man.

    Clearly you disagree. Que sera, sera.

  66. Obama IS the puppet of Soros. Soros could not be happier as he wants a new world order and said so on PBS. Obama is socializing America as per Soros’s wishes.

  67. bigbigslacker-He’s a capitalist

    How dare you call me a capitalist!

    Capitalists invest their money where they think it will grow. Satanists look out for number one. There is a difference, even if there is some overlap. I would call myself a capitalist. I believe in the exchange of goods and services at rates dictated by the free market. That doesn’t mean I believe in stealing the property other people have worked for. Hmmm, maybe that’s why Soros is a Democrat.

    As an example of what a bad person I’m not:
    My 90-some year old neighbor is in the hospital now, and she may not return to her home. I’m certainly not entertaining ideas of poking through her stuff for anything of value. I wouldn’t do it for the state either. I don’t think that makes me a bad capitalist.

  68. “Soros’s Quantum Endowment Fund returned 8 percent last year. That compared with an average loss of 18 percent by hedge funds, according to data compiled by Hedge Fund Research Inc. of Chicago.

    How many people do you know who made money in this market? Not very fucking many.”

    Or it could be a scam like Madoff’s

  69. I’m nowhere near prepared to label a Jew who survived Nazi Germany as a child by sidekicking with someone committed to saving his life a “sick fuck” just because he refuses to condemn himself for it as an old man.

    FrBunny, and I’m right there with you, as that is NOT the reason I call him a “sick fuck”. But you know that.

  70. But you know that.

    I really don’t then. If I’ve missed your point entirely, I apologize.

    Defending Soros is bad for my digestion anyway.

  71. FrBunny, I went over that stuff at 10:32. Soros does not indicate or in any way suggest he had to confiscate the property of others to avoid being killed by Nazis. Hiding his Jewish identity is the only action he took to protect his life (unless there is more to it than this short interview suggests). He took persecuted people’s property with the justification “somebody else was gonna take it anyway”, and he has no guilt whatsoever, even as an adult. If he had said “we did some horrible things back then” or “my ‘father’ made me do this” or “its easy to judge, but things were pretty F’ed up back then” or “my family was starving” or “that was a dark time in my life” or…almost anything besides “somebody else was gonna steal that shit anyway”, I wouldn’t even take the time to comment. I wouldn’t condemn a cannibal if that’s all they had to eat.

  72. Well then, yes, I did understand you and still completely disagree that interview proves him a “sick fuck”, for the same reasons I mentioned.

    And that’s ok.

  73. So, what did he have for dinner? Kittens and Bunnies?

  74. George, don’t ever, ever, ever utter the name of Ronald Reagan again. You greedy, pathetic, evil POS.

  75. Translation:
    “I made my money, so it’s ok to stop free enterprise now. No one else is as responsible as me and so can’t be trusted getting rich the way I did”

  76. Well then, yes, I did understand you and still completely disagree that interview proves him a “sick fuck”, for the same reasons I mentioned.

    And that’s ok.

    No, it isn’t! We need to argue until someone changes their mind, dies of exhaustion, or just gives up.

  77. Soros is not a communist; he just believes in proper regulation of the markets. (In fact, he has given hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, to anti-communist programs.)

    If you want to rule the world, it makes good sense to finance the destruction of your competition.

    It isn’t only markets were he wants “reasonable regulation.” Soros is the leading light in the gun control movement.

  78. If you saw a mob bearing down on your town intent on plundering it, what would be the sensible thing to do? To get out in front of it and be the first to loot, of course!

    The looting was not your fault, and there was nothing you could have done to prevent it. if nobody was going to be allowed to keep their property, what difference does it make to them who got it? Why shouldn’t you derive some good from a bad situation?

  79. I could give another analogy: burning out your neighbor’s property in advance of the wild fire that’s otherwise sure to burn you all out anyway. If your neighbor was going to be burned out anyway, why shouldn’t you be the one to protect your own?

    Soros is bad on gun control, but he’s good on drugs & prostitution, so that’s a wash. When you take into acc’t his role in bringing down the reds, he’s a big plus.

  80. Adjoran: “Soros … is arguably the only man in history to become a billionaire without creating any new wealth in the process.”

    Fidel Castro.

  81. If you saw a mob bearing down on your town sister intent on plundering it raping her, what would be the sensible thing to do? To get out in front of it and be the first to loot take a turn, of course!

    Still feel the same way?

  82. And your second analogy is even worse, Robert. Setting a backfire stops the fire. Looting your neighbor doesn’t stop the looting.

  83. Those who attempt to excuse Soros for being one of the Jews who betrayed other Jews in order to save his own life point to his age at the time (14) as the deciding factor.

    Even granting that a 14-year-old is not responsible for such behavior, it is a point about which reasonable persons can rationally differ. And it should be noted there were doubtless many, many other 14-year-olds…and even younger Jews…who would not have done what Soros did, or in

    Soros’s apologists overlook the 78-year-old’s almost perverse lack of a sense of guilt….even remorse or regret. I wasn’t shocked that as he 14-year old he was a Judas-goat to his people: hundreds, perhaps thousands of adults sank to it to survive, although in almost most cases they merely postponed their fate by debasing themselves. But I am shocked that today, as one of the world’s richest persons, and almost certainly the richest Holocaust survivor, he seems not in the least troubled by what he did to survive. Most telling is his apparent expectation that everyone thinks like he does, and accepts his behavior without comment.

  84. voxpo: No, I couldn’t find any:

    Timeline shows Bush, McCain warning Dems of financial mess:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMnSp4qEXNM

  85. I hope he burns in hell and the sooner the better! He can take Pelosi – Obama – Reid and the rest of the criminals with him when he goes.

    I’m finding that most of the comments on this thread are about as useful as that, if not less so. Reading all this nonsense and invective, one could almost be led to believe that Soros was running the country for the last eight years. Or is now apparently, at least for the conspiracy mongers who visit this blog.

  86. If you saw a mob bearing down on your sister intent on raping her, what would be the sensible thing to do? To get out in front of it and be the first to loot take a turn, of course!

    Still feel the same way?

    Especially so, because at least she knows I’ll still love her afterwards.

    But the analogy breaks down (as all analogies do, viz. the firebreak) because there’s only so much property to steal, but rape is the gift that keeps on giving, i.e. you can be raped over & over again because you don’t get used up or taken away. There being an excess of plunderers, all of the property would be taken away, so add’l plunderers don’t add anything to the damage. And why shouldn’t you, being innocent (it not being your idea to form a plundering mob) benefit at the expense of the evildoers who formed the mob to start with? You benefit while punishing evil.

  87. I’m finding that most of the comments on this thread are about as useful as that, if not less so. Reading all this nonsense and invective, one could almost be led to believe that Soros was running the country for the last eight years. Or is now apparently, at least for the conspiracy mongers who visit this blog.

    Nonsense AND invective? We usually only manage one or the other.

    I have noticed a flurry of BDS sufferers visiting as of late. I think that may be linked to someone’s departure.

  88. So let’s say someone else survived instead of Soros. Whoopee. How do you know you wouldn’t be complaining just as much about hir?

    Why should it be them and not you?

  89. Let’s say the others would have rather died. Well, they got their preference, didn’t they?

  90. Time for a COMPLETE disclosure of ALL investment holdings by OFFICIALS in the so-called US Government.

    Citizens deserve to know EXACTLY who (hedgefunds, etc) is paying these crooks, whether these so-called representatives are betting for (investing) or against (shorting) the US banks, automakers, etc.

    We also deserve to know what foreign accounts (hidden and otherwise) these senators and congressmen are using.

    It’s becoming apparent that several of these gilded clowns are working against our interests.

    Soros is paying for many of the people who killed the SEC.

  91. Soros and his Illuminati friends are the real problem. They all need to be hunted down, found and eliminated. Sort of like the Romanians did to Ceaucescu and his family back in 1989.

  92. George Soros has got the whole world in his hands and he did it without an Army.
    Just plain old manipulation!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.