When Soros speaks…

George Soros on Germany and the Eurozone

George Soros: finance, philanthropy, philosophy

We’ve all heard of George Soros, the Hungarian-American investor and philanthropist. Forbes magazine estimates his net worth in 2012 at $20 billion. Love him for his philanthropy, hate him for his massive speculative coups – he’s always worth listening to. At 82, he’s lost none of his punch.

Soros has long been critical of Germany’s position at the heart of the Eurozone crisis. He particularly singles out Chancellor Merkel’s entrenched attitudes towards ‘debtor nations’ as endangering the entire Euro structure.

In a recent essay, first published by the New York Review of Books and later by Spiegel Online, Soros suggests that a certain European country has two options – do much more to save the Euro, or abandon the currency and leave the Eurozone.

No, he’s not speaking about Greece. He means Germany.

“A disorderly breakup would be catastrophic for the euro area and indirectly for the whole world. Germany, having fared better than the other members of the euro area, has further to fall than the others — therefore it will continue to do the minimum that it considers necessary to prevent a breakup.

“The European Union that will emerge from this process will be diametrically opposed to the idea of a European Union that is the embodiment of an open society. It will be a hierarchical system built on debt obligations instead of a voluntary association of equals. There will be two classes of states, creditors and debtors, and the creditors will be in charge.”

What I like about Soros’ writing is that he makes his technical subjects fully readable. I’m no financial expert, but I can follow what the man says. Whether I agree or not, it’s great to have a clear understanding of the argument. Financial expert, philanthropist – and philosopher: quite a combination.

The link [1] is to Spiegel Online: it’s a fairly long essay, but enjoyable, provocative and informative.

[1]: Spiegel Online

[2]: Soros official site (for more of his writing)

Image source: charlierose.com


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