George Soros, CEO, philanthropist, and investor, has come out and advised caution as he sees a turbulent economy that reflects the situation before the 2008 crisis. Quoting mainly the market instability in China, Soros is warning of many conditions that reflect the same issues the financial markets had in 2008.
Mr. Soros gave a speech in Sri Lanka at an economic summit and cited multiple examples of the similarities between current market conditions and the dangerous issues that led to the collapse of 2008. His main concern was with the significant issues China is calming its markets. China has been struggling with the transition away from manufacturing to a more service based economy. This in turn has deeply affected the value of the currency. China has also been dealing with many scandals as it moves to excise corrupt officials and restore confidence that the government can maintain growth. Mr. Soros noted that China’s issues “amounts to a crisis” and that it “reminds me of the crisis we had in 2008.”
Mr. Soros also cited significant issues with the Euro as reason for worry. He noted in 2011 that the debt created in Greece may well be more worrisome than the debt from the 2008 crisis. Another European issue is the Ukraine crisis and the involvement of Russia, which further unsettles the markets and creates instability. Mr. Soros has been outspoken on the issue, and Russia recently banned his charitable organizations from operating within its borders.
Mr. Soros has a long history in finance and world affairs. He was born in Budapest in 1930, survived World War 2, and fled the Iron Curtain for England in 1947. He started a hedge fund that has become extremely successful, Soros Fund Management. The firm has consistently gained value over the years since it started in 1969, and he now has a personal net worth of about $27.3 billion. He is also a best selling author with many books and articles about the financial markets, society, capitalism, and democracy. He makes point of philanthropy, and runs The Open Society Foundations, which works to “build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens”.