rotten > Library > Biographies > Icons of Business > George Soros

George Soros

  • Hungarian businessman. Jewish; original family name is Schwartz.
  • Net worth estimated at $11B.
  • A man of enormous wealth and ability to deploy it in unexpected ways.
  • Partner in the Carlyle Group.
  • Was the owner of Harken Energy, and bought its declining shares so that George W Bush could make a million dollars. His reason to do that: "political influence."
  • As currency speculator, cost the UK a billion dollars in one day.
  • Hated by Lyndon LaRouche.
  • Member, Council on Foreign Relations.

Timeline

12 Aug 1930 George Soros born, Budapest Hungary.
1944 Hides for a year from the Nazis, after they invade Hungary.
1947 Leaves Hungary for Britain to attend London School of Economics.
1956 Moves to United States.
1969 Establishes Quantum Fund, and dabbles in currency manipulation. Average return of that fund is an astonishing 35% per year, since its inception.
1979 Establishes Open Society Fund, New York City.
16 Sep 1992 In a brazen act of currency speculation, places a hedge bet that the UK will devalue the Pound Sterling. In September this nets him $1B in a single day.
1995 Appointed director, Council on Foreign Relations.
1997 Attacks the currencies of Thailand and Malaysia. A Thai source said: "We regard George Soros as a kind of Dracula. He sucks blood from the people." [Heather Coffin, Covert Action Quarterly.]
2002 Convicted of insider trading, with regards to the stock of a French bank in 1988. Fined $2M.
Nov 2002 Soros is the primary sponsor of Nevada's ballot initiative to legalize marijuana.
12 Sep 2003 "If you impose morality on [business], it means that you are actually with your hands tied behind your back and you're not going to be successful. It's extremely hard to be successful." Interview, David Brancaccio, Now with Bill Moyers.
7 Nov 2003 Moscow offices of the Soros Foundation stormed by forty armed men who seize papers and seal the building, after Soros criticized the recent jailing of one of Russia's oligarchs, Mikhail Khodorkovsky of oil company Yukos. The building's owner claims rent was not being paid, an unlikely explanation.
31 Mar 2004 While appearing at a human rights conference in Kiev, Ukraine, George Soros is splattered with water and mayonnaise by two members of the radical nationalist group, Bratstvo.
29 Aug 2004 During an interview on Fox News Sunday with host Chris Wallace, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert insinuates Soros is funneling profits from drug cartels to special interest groups (a baseless accusation):
HASTERT: You know, I don't know where George Soros gets his money. I don't know where if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from. And I...
WALLACE: Excuse me?
HASTERT: Well, that's what he's been for a number years George Soros has been for legalizing drugs in this country. So, I mean, he's got a lot of ancillary interests out there.
WALLACE: You think he may be getting money from the drug cartel?
HASTERT: I'm saying I don't know where [527] groups could be people who support this type of thing. I'm saying we don't know. The fact is we don't know where this money comes from.
31 Aug 2004 In response to Dennis Hastert's comments on Fox News Sunday, George Soros sends Hastert a fax addressing the allegations:
Your recent comments implying that I am receiving funds from drug cartels are not only untrue, but also deeply offensive. You do a discredit to yourself and to the dignity of your office by engaging in these dishonest smear tactics. You should be ashamed.

[...]

This past Sunday, on national television, you suggested that I might be a criminal simply because I have exercized my First Amendment rights to dissent from the policies of the Bush administration.

[...]

I must respectfully insist that you either substantiate these claims--which you cannot do because they are false--or publicly apologize for attempting to defame my character and damage my reputation.


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