All you need to know about George Soros!
George Soros was born on 12th August 1930 in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. He is an exceptional investor, author as well as a philanthropist. He is among the top 30 richest persons in the world with a net worth of 8 billion dollars (as of 2018). His family’s name was changed to the palindrome ‘Soros’ as a camouflage to the German Jewish Schwartz. He immigrated to England in 1947 and did his higher studies from London school of Economics and earned a B.Sc and M.Sc in Philosophy.
He faced constant rejection for a job and worked as a salesman for a wholesaler. He was accepted at Singer and Friedlander because the MD was Hungarian.
He was promoted to the arbitrage department after working as a clerk, where he met Robert Mayer, who suggested him to work at his father’s brokerage house. He moved to New York in 1956 as an arbitrage trader at F.M. Mayer and dealt with the European stocks. After 3 years he moved to Wertheim and Co as an analyst of European securities with an intention of saving dollars and again moving to England to pursue philosophy.
He started trading in 1966 with 100,000 dollars of Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder to grade his trading strategies. He started Double Eagle hedge fund in 1969 with 250,000 $ of his own and 4m$ of his investors in Curaçao, Dutch Antilles.
He further founded the Soros Fund Management in 1970 and resigned from the Double Eagle Fund in 1973. It was renamed as the Quantum Fund and after a few ups and downs gained the title of being the most successful hedge fund in history in 1930.
INFLUENCE ON POLITICS
He wasn’t very active until the 2004 presidential election wherein he donated around 23.5m $ to various groups that aimed to defeat President Bush. A new political fundraising group was formed after Bush’s re-election named the Democracy Alliance.
In 2012, he announced a donation of $ 1 million to the super PAC that backed President Barack Obama’s re-election.
THE MAN WHO BROKE THE BANK OF ENGLAND
Soros had been building a huge position in sterling until the September of 1992. He made a successful diagnosis of the calamitous position of England in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. According to him, UK was dragged into the European Exchange Rate Mechanism at high rates along with the prevalence of high inflation rate and their interest rates affecting the asset prices.
On September 16, 1992, the fund short sold pounds worth $ 10 billion and profited from the government’s hesitancy to elevate the interest rates further to match it with the European exchange rate mechanism or float its currency. This day was marked as the Black Wednesday. The UK withdrew from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism leading to the devaluation of the pound and Soros making a profit of more than $ 1 billion and earning the position of a premier currency speculator of the world.
As an author, his literary works mainly focus on the relationship between cause and effect, referred to as reflexivity. Some of his famous works include ‘The Alchemy of Finance’;’ The Crisis of Global Capitalism: Open Society Endangered’ and his famous quotes are
“Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes.”
“Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux and money is made by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected.”
In 2000, he received the Yale International Center for Finance Award from the Yale School of Management and an honorary degree in economics from the oldest university in the world ie University of Bologna.
He was ranked as the number 1 in LCH Investments list of top 20 managers in January 2014.
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