FT: George Soros on Credit Crunch, Bear Stearns, China, Commodities & Obama

My South African friend Prieur du Plessis sent me an email over the weekend that this was must see financial tv:

George Soros, of Soros Fund Management, has just launched a new book “The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What it Means”, which will arouse considerable interest. Coinciding with the launch, Chrystia Freeland, US managing editor of Financial Times, conducted a three-part video interview with Soros on a variety of highly topical issues.

Part 1 Soros talks about the credit crunch and the recession, and says the Fed was right to rescue Bear Stearns.

click for video


After you launch part 1, Look to the right of the video for parts 2 and 3 on FT’s site.

In Part 2 Soros discusses the incipient commodities bubble, and
believes there will be a need for a new Basel accord on banking
supervision. He also discusses China and believes that the US housing
market problems are just building up.

Part 3 Soros talks about the US dollar, US leadership in the world and
his support for Barack Obama, who he feels is the candidate who will
create the most change for America’s future.

Source: Financial Times, April 4, 2008.

Hat tip Prieur du Plessis

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Philippe commented on Apr 7

    Through this post,there is real literature, pre Columbian sculpture and human comedy

  2. Karl K commented on Apr 7

    I look forward to seeing these videos.

    When it comes to the actions of global markets, there is no one more knowledgable than Soros.

    That being said, I have always considered him a truly dangerous character, who would have no compunction about exercising shadow power if the opportunity presented itself.

  3. Marcus Aurelius commented on Apr 7

    Posted by: Karl K | Apr 7, 2008 7:46:56 AM

    You all worried ’bout the shadow power – you should be worried
    bout the powers dat’ be.

  4. Ross commented on Apr 7

    Jorge Schwartz, AKA George Soros was/is the laughing stock in Moscow. They clipped him for $2 billion if memory serves.

    It just goes to show that if you have a lot of money (read access to power) and talk funny, you too can be a well respected investment guru and author. He’s just another Ayn Rand wannabe. I’ll give him credit. He does know how to cut his losses
    which is a rare gift.

  5. BDG123 commented on Apr 7

    George Soros understands something that few on Wall Sreet seem to understand. It isn’t about being right. It’s about not allowing the wrong decisions to kill you. Or, put in simpletonian terms, he understands risk management.

    Soros may have lost billions but he’s made more billions. The greatest traders in the world are also those that have likely lost more money than most can fathom. Traders must lose money to make money. It is the price of the game. If I have a trading system that is 50% accurate but keep my losses to half of my gains, I may lose billions but still net billions in profits. Soros has made money over too many types of markets and for too long to consider him anything other than a great trader.

    As far as Ayn Rand, his philosophy is diametrically opposed to her beliefs. He’s an elitist and she’s an individualist. Soros seems to generally believe those smarter than everyone else should make the rules and Rand believed in the individual freedoms and accomplishments of all humanity.

  6. algernon commented on Apr 7

    It is intriguing that someone smart enough to correctly perceive the global credit bubble as the essence of the problem is dumb enough to think that a President Obama, who promises to raise taxes severely, is the answer.

  7. wunsacon commented on Apr 7

    Sounds like some politically different-minded folks taking shots at Soros.


  8. ScottB commented on Apr 7

    Notice how he ducked the question about why taxpayers should bail out rich folks who made bad decisions.

  9. BlueMeade commented on Apr 7

    Repealing Bush’s tax cuts that benefited the wealthiest Americans and added to our already massive deficits and debt is the most fiscally responsible thing that the Democrats will do.

    There has never been a tax cut in war time, and there have been tax surcharges to help pay for the cost.

    Republicans want war, but they don’t want to pay for it, they want tax breaks, and don’t care if the country is bankrupted. They pushed for financial deregulation and ran to the bank with their executive compensation, bonuses and backdated options; the rich have benefited on the backs of the rest of Americans.

    It is conservatives whose policies have brought this country to the brink of ruin and now whine that their taxes will be raised to cover the cost of the worst fiscal crisis this country has ever seen, and unfortunately, Democrats will be blamed for raising taxes.

    The selfish have ruled and ruined this country long enough, it is time for competent fiscal management no matter what the party.

  10. Ross commented on Apr 7

    Soros was an individualist capitalist until he made his fortune and became an elitist.

    Any Rand was an individualist until becoming famous and then became an elitist.

    Funny how either money or fame transforms some people.

    I bet big against Soros in Russia between 1996 and 1998 and did quite well. If he didn’t see what was going on, then he had on philosophical blinders. And no, he is not a contrary indicator by any means. He understands risk management and cuts losses.

    No politics implied.

  11. Pat G. commented on Apr 7

    “dumb enough to think that a President Obama, who promises to raise taxes severely, is the answer.”

    None of our presidential candidates are perfect. Soros stated ” his support for Barack Obama, who he feels is the candidate who will create the most change for America’s future.”

    Change…that’s what 81% of Americans want.

  12. Karl K commented on Apr 7

    The powers dat be are leaving soon. This is the USA after all.

    Be careful, though, before you engage in premature celebration.

    Or assume, as some are wont to do, that Obama will bring about “change” — as though “change ” itself were some independent good.

    The great poet e.e. cummings wrote a haiku of profound insight about politicians.

    a politician is an arse upon whom everyone has sat but a man

    Make no mistake about it, Mr. Soros: Obama is a politician.

  13. Francois commented on Apr 7

    “s dumb enough to think that a President Obama, who promises to raise taxes severely, is the answer.”

    Obama promised to raise taxes “severely”?

    Links supporting this statement would be much appreciated.

    Thank you

  14. Dave Sucher commented on Apr 7

    Totally intrigued by the hostility to Soros while there are so few comments on the substance of the interviews.

    THe interesting point for me is that he seems to be saying that the practical issue is how much would it cost (who pays is another question) to keep people in their houses?

  15. AC commented on Apr 7

    Listen to George’s elitist laughter @ clip#3 @ minute 1:35 when asked why he’s supporting Obama…make’s you wonder what’s up his sleeves.

    He goes from evil laughter to straight face in one second…

  16. georgia pig commented on Apr 7

    “Soros” seems to engender a visceral response akin to “Kayser Soze” in the “Usual Suspects.” (sp?) My guess that many of the commenters don’t know anything more about Soros than what they heard from Bill O’Reilly. Jeez, Soros didn’t say Obama was “the answer,” he just said that he thought Obama represented the greatest chance of change. There’s nothing very controversial about that — McCain and Hillary are pretty invested in the status quo (Iraq, 80’s and 90’s era market fundamentalism). His comments on the credit crisis were reasonable and in line with what you might read, for example, in Forbes or FT.

  17. Former Republican Voter commented on Apr 7

    I have been a Republican my entire life.

    There is simply no way I can reward the sort of gross incompetence and blind corruption that we have seen over the past 7 years.

    Don’t get me wrong, I expect the Dems to be just as bad.

    The bums need to be thrown out.

  18. BSNEATH commented on Apr 7

    I am seriously considering voting for Barry….I mean Barack….. (sorry BR). He is a big picture intellectual as opposed to the usual tactical politician.

    Also, I am very tired of Republican policies that benefit “old money” rather than encouraging innovation and generation of new economic wealth.

    Unfortunately, Obama’s rhetoric against corporations is a bit unnerving. But then again, so is McCain’s unquestioned endorsement of AGW.

    Maybe we should just sit this one out!?

  19. Karl K commented on Apr 7

    I listened to the interviews finally…they were pretty good.

    That being said, I stand by my original statement about Soros. I have absolutely no doubt that if you gave him a guarantee that he could get a coup going in the USA, he would do it. He really would.

    By the way, I bet I am the only poster on here who has actually read The Alchemy of Finance. A pretty interesting book, I must say.

Read this next.

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