George Soros at a Glance:
Source: hedge funds, self-made
Residence: Katonah, NY
Country of Citizenship: United States
Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, London School of Economics
Marital Status: Divorced
Net Worth $22 Bln as of September 2011
#7 Forbes 400
#46 Forbes Billionaires
#20 in United States
George Soros; born August 12, 1930, as Schwartz, George Soros is a notorious Hungarian-American financier, businessman and “philanthropist” focused on supporting liberal ideals and spreading “Democracy”.
He became known as “the Man Who Broke the Bank of England” after he made $1 billion during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crises.
Soros is the founder & Chairman of the Soros Foundation and the Open Society Institute, he is also one of 8 members of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group and a former member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations.
He played a significant role in the peaceful transition from communism to capitalism in Hungary (1984–89) and provided Europe’s largest-ever higher education endowment to Central European University in Budapest. Later, the Open Society Institute’s programs in Georgia were considered by Russian and Western observers to have been crucial in the success of the Rose Revolution.
The Open Society Institute has active programs in more than 60 countries around the world with total expenditures currently averaging approximately $600 million a year.
In 2003, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker wrote in the foreword of Soros’ book The Alchemy of Finance:
George Soros has made his mark as an enormously successful speculator, wise enough to largely withdraw when still way ahead of the game. The bulk of his enormous winnings is now devoted to encouraging transitional and emerging nations to become ‘open societies,’.
Family & Early Life
Soros was born in Budapest, Kingdom of Hungary, the son of the Esperantist writer Tivadar Soros and Elizabeth Soros. Tivadar (also known as Teodoro) was a Hungarian Jew, who was a prisoner of war during and after World War I and eventually escaped from Russia to rejoin his family in Budapest.
The family changed its name from Schwartz to Soros in 1936, in response to growing anti-semitism with the rise of fascism. Tivadar liked the new name because it is a palindrome and has a meaning. Although the specific meaning is left unstated in Kaufman’s biography, in Hungarian, soros means next in line, or designated successor; and, in Esperanto, it means “will soar”. Tivadar taught George to speak Esperanto from birth. George Soros later said that he grew up in a Jewish home and that his parents were cautious with their religious roots.
Soros was thirteen years old in March 1944 when Nazi Germany occupied Hungary. Soros took a job with the Jewish Council, which had been established during the Nazi occupation of Hungary to carry out Nazi and Hungarian government anti-Jewish measures.
Soros immigrated to England in 1947 and, as an impoverished student, lived with his uncle, an Orthodox Jew. His uncle paid his living expenses while he attended the London School of Economics, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Philosophy in 1952.
In 1956, Soros moved to New York City, where he worked as an arbitrage trader with F. M. Mayer (1956–59) and as an analyst with Wertheim & Co. (1959–63). In 1967, he persuaded the company to set up First Eagle, an offshore investment fund for him to run; and, in 1969, it founded the Double Eagle hedge fund for him.
In 1973, when investment regulations restricted his ability to run the funds as he wished, he resigned his position and established a private investment company, which evolved into the Quantum Fund. He has stated that his intent was to earn enough money on Wall Street to support himself as an author and philosopher – he calculated that $500,000 after five years would be possible and adequate.
In 1970, Soros founded Soros Fund Management with Jim Rogers. In 1973, he left Arnhold and S. Bleichroder to set up his own hedge fund with US$12 million from investors. Christoper Ink was also involved, and other partners have included Victor Niederhoffer and Stanley Druckenmiller. Rogers retired from the fund in 1980.
On September 16, 1992, Black Wednesday, Soros’s fund sold short more than US$10 billion worth of pounds, profiting from the UK Government’s reluctance to either raise its interest rates to levels comparable to those of other European Exchange Rate Mechanism countries or to float its currency. Finally, the UK withdrew from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, devaluing the pound sterling, earning Soros an estimated US$1.1 billion. He was dubbed “the man who broke the Bank of England.” In 1997, the UK Treasury estimated the cost of Black Wednesday at £3.4 billion.
In 1997, during the Asian financial crisis, the Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir bin Mohamad accused Soros of using the wealth under his control to punish the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for welcoming Myanmar as a member.
Initially called the Soros Fund, it was eventually renamed the Quantum Fund. In 2000, the Quantum Group of Funds was reorganized, and the flagship Quantum Endowment Fund was established. Soros Fund Management LLC is the principal advisor to the Quantum Endowment Fund. George Soros is the Chairman of Soros Fund Management. The firm’s day-to-day operations are managed by Soros’s two elder sons and the firm’s Chief Investment Officer Keith Anderson. The fund has assets of approximately $27 billion. Recent investments include the 2010 purchase of a 20% stake in BNK Petroleum.
In 2007, the Quantum Fund returned almost 32%, netting Soros $2.9 billion.
In 2010, Forbes lists Soros as the Forbes list of billionaires 35th richest person in the world, and the 14th richest person in America, with a net worth estimated at US$14.2 billion.
Soros also once had a small stake in the Carlyle Group.
Philanthropy or Spreading Democracy or Toppling Governements???
Soros’ philanthropic funding includes efforts to promote non-violent democratization in the post-Soviet states & Middle East. These efforts, occur primarily through the Open Society Institute (OSI) and national Soros Foundations, which sometimes go under other names (such as the Stefan Batory Foundation in Poland). As of 2003, PBS estimated that he had given away a total of $4 billion. The OSI says it has spent about $500 million annually in recent years.
According to Neil Clark in the New Statesman, Soros’s role was crucial in the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. From 1979, as an advocate of ‘open societies’, Soros financially supported dissidents including Poland’s Solidarity movement, Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia and Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union donating $3 million a year according to Clark. In 1984, he founded his first Open Society Institute in Hungary and pumped millions of dollars into opposition movements and independent media.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Soros’ funding has continued to play an important role in the former Soviet sphere. His funding of pro-democratic programs in of Georgia was considered by Russian and Western observers to be crucial to the success of the Rose Revolution, although Soros has said that his role has been “greatly exaggerated.”
Ercis Kurtulus, head of the Social Transparency Movement Association (TSHD) in Turkey, said in an interview that “Soros carried out his will in Ukraine and Georgia by using these NGOs…Last year Russia passed a special law prohibiting NGOs from taking money from foreigners. I think this should be banned in Turkey as well.” In 1997, Soros had to close his foundation in Belarus after it was fined $3 million by the government for “tax and currency violations”.
According to Mahathir bin Mohamed, Prime Minister of Malaysia from July 1981 to October 2003, Soros — as the hedge fund chief of Quantum — may have been partially responsible for the economic crash in 1997 of East Asian markets when the Thai currency relinquished its peg to the US dollar. According to Mahathir, in the three years leading to the crash, Soros invested in short-term speculative investment in East Asian stock markets and real estate, then divested with “indecent haste” at the first signs of currency devaluation.
Ercis Kurtulus, head of the Social Transparency Movement Association (TSHD) inTurkey, said in an interview that “Soros carried out his will in Ukraine and Georgia by using these NGOs… Last year Russia passed a special law prohibiting NGOs from taking money from foreigners. I think this should be banned in Turkey as well.”
In 2011, Forbes published an extensive article about George Soros, his activism, and U.S. foreign policy. From the article: “Soros is hated because many Eastern Europeans and Central Asians believe that he is using his money to subvert their political systems. Rightly or wrongly, this view tends to promote anti-Americanism. And it gives dictators a talking point to use against American diplomats.”
George Soros – Affiliations
Soros is the Chairman of Soros Fund Management, LLC and founder of The Open Society Institute. Soros claims his political activities are separate from the Open Society Institute. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Soros is a partner in the Carlyle Group where he has invested more than 100 million dollars. According to an article by “The Baltimore Chronicle’s” Alice Cherbonnier, the Carlye Group is run by “a veritable who’s who of former Republican leaders,” from CIA man Frank Carlucci, to CIA head [and ex-President] George Bush, Sr.
International Crisis Group
George Soros is one of 8 members of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group.
International Crisis Group honored George Soros on Dec. 7, 2010 at their In Pursuit of Peace: Crisis Group 2010 Award Dinner and Celebrating Our 15th Anniversary event.
Soros gave $2.5 million to MoveOn.org in the 2004.
Open Society Institute
In 1993, Soros created the Open Society Institute, which supports the Soros foundations working to develop democratic institutions throughout Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The “open society” basically refers to a “test and evaluate” approach to social engineering. The Open Society Institute has active programs in more than 60 countries around the world with total expenditures currently averaging approximately $600 million a year.
The Open Society Institute (OSI), serves as the flagship of a network of Soros foundations that donate tens of millions of dollars each year to a wide array of individuals and organizations that share Soros’ agendas. Those agendas can be summarized as follows:
- Promoting the view that America is institutionally an oppressive nation.
- Promoting the election of leftist political candidates throughout the United States.
- Opposing virtually all post-9/11 national security measures enacted by the U.S. government, particularly the Patriot Act.
- Depicting American military actions as unjust, unwarranted and immoral.
- Promoting open borders, mass immigration and a watering down of current immigration laws.
- Promoting a dramatic expansion of social welfare programs funded by ever-escalating taxes.
- Promoting social welfare benefits and amnesty for illegal aliens.
- Defending the civil rights and liberties of suspected anti-American terrorists and their abettors.
- Financing the recruitment and training of future activist leaders of the political Left.
- Advocating America’s unilateral disarmament and/or a steep reduction in its military spending.
- Opposing the death penalty in all circumstances.
- Promoting socialized medicine in the United States.
- Promoting the tenets of radical environmentalism, whose ultimate goal, as writer Michael Berliner has explained, is “not clean air and clean water, [but] rather … the demolition of technological/industrial civilization.”
- Bringing American foreign policy under the control of the United Nations.
- Promoting racial and ethnic preferences in academia and the business world alike.
- Promoting taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand.
- Advocating stricter gun-control measures.
- Advocating the legalization of marijuana.
The Open Society Foundations recently pledged its largest donation ever to Human Rights Watch in the amount of $100 million to be distributed over 10 years.
Richard Poe writes, “Through his global web of Open Society Institutes and Open Society Foundations, Soros has spent 25 years recruiting, training, indoctrinating and installing a network of loyal operatives in 50 countries, placing them in positions of influence and power in media, government, finance and academia.”
Some organizations that have received support from OSI:
- Center for American Progress
- Tides Foundation
- Campaign for America’s Future
- National Council of La Raza
- Apollo Alliance
- Center for Community Change
- Free Press
Top 20 grant recipients in 2008 (the most recent OSI filing as of Dec. 2010):
- International Crisis Group – $5,000,000
- Ministry of Education Republic of Liberia – $4,250,000
- Drug Policy Alliance – $4,000,000
- Media Development Loan Fund – $3,900,000
- Bard College – $3,094,539
- Proteus Fund Inc. – $3,000,000
- The Revenue Watch Institute – $3,000,000
- The Tides Foundation – $2,875,000
- The Mayors Fund to Advance New York City – $2,512,415
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – $2,107,000
- Public Interest Projects – $1,700,000
- The Tides Center – $1,396,681
- Center for Community Change – $1,362,500
- Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education – $1,320,000
- Fund for the European University – $1,100,000
- Center for New York City Neighborhoods – $1,050,000
- American Civil Liberties Union Foundation – $1,000,000
- Center for American Progress – $1,000,000
- Foundation to Promote Open Society – $1,000,000
- Link Media Inc. – $1,000,000
Regime Collapse in Egypt
Watch The Great Deception 2011 Addendum
Many are asking who started the riots in Egypt around Jan. 25, 2011, including Walid Phares on Fox News. Phares stated that he believed it was bloggers on Facebook who began the riots.
In April of 2010, a weekly magazine aiming to link Arab bloggers with politicians, the elderly and the elite was launched in Egypt. The weekly Wasla – or “The Link” – is being heralded as a first for the Arab world, with plans for articles by bloggers as a way of giving them a wider readership.
In the 1st edition of Wasla, the cover featured Mohamed ElBaradei. ElBaradei is Wasla’s chosen candidate and he is also supported by the Muslim Brotherhood. George Soros and ElBaradei both sit on the Board of Trustees for the International Crisis Group. Radio talk show host Michael Savage lays out in detail the ICG’s ties to the current Islamic uprising in Egypt. In a June 2008 report entitled, “Egypt’s Muslim Brothers Confrontation or Integration,” ICG urges the Egyptian regime to allow the Muslim Brotherhood to participate in political life.
Soros’ Open Society also funded the main opposition voice in Tunisia, Radio Kalima, which championed the riots there that led to the ouster of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Soros’ foundations and Open society are also linked to the funding and founding of Serbia’s Otpor (later Canvas), the movement responsible for the Bulldozer revolution, and who gave training to April 6 Youth Movement leaders in 2008 and 2009.
More from WND:
- In September, Soros’ group was looking to expand its operations in Egypt by hiring a new project manager for its Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, which is run in partnership with the Open Society Justice Initiative. The group is seeking to develop a national network of legal empowerment actors for referral of public-interest law cases. Such organizations in the past have helped represent Muslim Brotherhood leaders seeking election or more authority in the country.
Soros made public statements that he supported the uprising in Egypt. He also tacitly supports the Muslim Brotherhood.
- In a Washington Post editorial entitled, “Why Obama Has to Get Egypt Right,” Soros recognized that if free elections were held in Egypt, “the Brotherhood is bound to emerge as a major political force, though it is far from assured of a majority.”
- He stated the U.S. has “much to gain by moving out in front and siding with the public demand for dignity and democracy” in Egypt.
- He claimed the “Muslim Brotherhood’s cooperation with Mohamed ElBaradei … is a hopeful sign that it intends to play a constructive role in a democratic political system.”
- Soros did not mention his ties to ElBaradei.
- Soros did, however, single out Israel as “the main stumbling block” in paving the way toward transition in the Middle East.
- “In reality, Israel has as much to gain from the spread of democracy in the Middle East as the United States has. But Israel is unlikely to recognize its own best interests because the change is too sudden and carries too many risks,” he wrote.
And there is more concerning Soros being behind lobbying efforts for Egypt on Capitol Hill. From Gulag Bound:
- In attempting to explain how lobbyists get U.S. foreign aid for Egypt, journalist Pratap Chatterjee of the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress writes that Tony Podesta, “the brother of a former White House chief of staff,” joined with Toby Moffett, a former Democratic Congressman, and Bob Livingston, a former Republican Congressman, to create a lobbying organization, the PLM Group, to represent Egypt in Washington.
Tony Podesta is the brother of John Podesta. He is Chatterjee’s boss at the Center for American Progress.
More from Gulag Bound:
- Politico reported that Tony and John Podesta started Podesta Associates in the late 1980s and that it was later renamed the Podesta Group. So John Podesta was in on this money-making scheme from the start. Soros subsequently asked John Podesta to run the Center for American Progress, whose foreign policy expert, Brian Katulis, has been arguing on MSNBC that the U.S. ought to pull the plug on the Hosni Mubarak government in Egypt and deal with the Muslim Brotherhood.
- In other words, the Podesta brothers are on both sides of this international crisis.
- Politico has since reported that the lobbyists in the Podesta Group and the Livingston Group had lobbied on the issue of a Senate resolution calling for free elections in Egypt. The story didn’t mention that a former Politico editor, John Ward Anderson, now works for the Podesta Group.
For more on the El Baradei – Soros Connection, Watch The Great Deception Addendum
NS Profile: George Soros
Neil Clark, 02 June 2003
The billionaire trader has become eastern Europe’s uncrowned king and the prophet of ”the open society”. But open to what?
George Soros is angry. In common with 90 per cent of the world’s population, the Man Who Broke the Bank of England has had enough of President Bush and his foreign policy. In a recent article in the Financial Times, Soros condemned the Bush administration’s policies on Iraq as “fundamentally wrong” – based as they were on a “false ideology that US might gave it the right to impose its will on the world”.
Wow! Has one of the world’s richest men – the archetypal amoral capitalist who made billions out of the Far Eastern currency crash of 1997 and who last year was fined $2m for insider trading by a court in France – seen the light in his old age? (He is 72.) Should we pop the champagne corks and toast his conversion?
Not before asking what really motivates him. Soros likes to portray himself as an outsider, an independent-minded Hungarian emigre and philosopher-pundit who stands detached from the US military-industrial complex. But take a look at the board members of the NGOs he organises and finances. At Human Rights Watch, for example, there is Morton Abramowitz, US assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research from 1985-89, and now a fellow at the interventionist Council on Foreign Relations; ex-ambassador Warren Zimmerman (whose spell in Yugoslavia coincided with the break-up of that country); and Paul Goble, director of communications at the CIA-created Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (which Soros also funds). Soros’s International Crisis Group boasts such “independent” luminaries as the former national security advisers Zbigniew Brzezinski and Richard Allen, as well as General Wesley Clark, once Nato supreme allied commander for Europe. The group’s vice-chairman is the former congressman Stephen Solarz, once described as “the Israel lobby’s chief legislative tactician on Capitol Hill” and a signatory, along with the likes of Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, to a notorious letter to President Clinton in 1998 calling for a “comprehensive political and military strategy for bringing down Saddam and his regime”.
Take a look also at Soros’s business partners. At the Carlyle Group, where he has invested more than $100m, they include the former secretary of state James Baker and the erstwhile defence secretary Frank Carlucci, George Bush Sr and, until recently, the estranged relatives of Osama Bin Laden. Carlyle, one of the world’s largest private equity funds, makes most of its money from its work as a defence contractor.
Soros may not, as some have suggested, be a fully paid-up CIA agent. But that his companies and NGOs are closely wrapped up in US expansionism cannot seriously be doubted.
So why is he so upset with Bush? The answer is simple. Soros is angry not with Bush’s aims – of extending Pax Americana and making the world safe for global capitalists like himself – but with the crass and blundering way Bush is going about it. By making US ambitions so clear, the Bush gang has committed the cardinal sin of giving the game away. For years, Soros and his NGOs have gone about their work extending the boundaries of the “free world” so skilfully that hardly anyone noticed. Now a Texan redneck and a gang of overzealous neo-cons have blown it.
As a cultivated and educated man (a degree in philosophy from the London School of Economics, honorary degrees from the Universities of Oxford, Yale, Bologna and Budapest), Soros knows too well that empires perish when they overstep the mark and provoke the formation of counter-alliances. He understands that the Clintonian approach of multilateralism – whereby the US cajoles or bribes but never does anything so crude as to threaten – is the only one that will allow the empire to endure. Bush’s policies have led to a divided Europe, Nato in disarray, the genesis of a new Franco-German-Russian alliance and the first meaningful steps towards Arab unity since Nasser.
Soros knows a better way – armed with a few billion dollars, a handful of NGOs and a nod and a wink from the US State Department, it is perfectly possible to topple foreign governments that are bad for business, seize a country’s assets, and even to get thanked for your benevolence afterwards. Soros has done it.
The conventional view, shared by many on the left, is that socialism collapsed in eastern Europe because of its systemic weaknesses and the political elite’s failure to build popular support. That may be partly true, but Soros’s role was crucial. From 1979, he distributed $3m a year to dissidents including Poland’s Solidarity movement, Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia and Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union. In 1984, he founded his first Open Society Institute in Hungary and pumped millions of dollars into opposition movements and independent media. Ostensibly aimed at building up a “civil society”, these initiatives were designed to weaken the existing political structures and pave the way for eastern Europe’s eventual colonisation by global capital. Soros now claims, with characteristic immodesty, that he was responsible for the “Americanisation” of eastern Europe.
The Yugoslavs remained stubbornly resistant and repeatedly returned Slobodan Milosevic’s unreformed Socialist Party to government. Soros was equal to the challenge. From 1991, his Open Society Institute channelled more than $100m to the coffers of the anti-Milosevic opposition, funding political parties, publishing houses and “independent” media such as Radio B92, the plucky little student radio station of western mythology which was in reality bankrolled by one of the world’s richest men on behalf of the world’s most powerful nation. With Slobo finally toppled in 2000 in a coup d’etat financed, planned and executed in Washington, all that was left was to cart the ex-Yugoslav leader to the Hague tribunal, co-financed by Soros along with those other custodians of human rights Time Warner Corporation and Disney. He faced charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, based in the main on the largely anecdotal evidence of (you’ve guessed it) Human Rights Watch.
Soros stresses his belief in the “open society” propounded by the philosopher Karl Popper, who taught him at the LSE in the early 1950s. Soros’s definition of an “open society” – “an imperfect society that holds itself open to improvement” – sounds reasonable enough; few lovers of genuine liberty would take issue with its central tenet that “the open society is a more sophisticated form of social organisation than a totalitarian one”. But Soros’s “open societies” don’t tend to be all that open in practice.
Since the fall of Milosevic, Serbia, under the auspices of Soros-backed “reformers”, has become less, not more, free. The recently lifted state of emergency saw more than 4,000 people arrested, many of them without charge, political parties threatened with bans, and critical newspapers closed down. It was condemned by the UN Commission on Human Rights and the British Helsinki Group. But there was not a murmur from the Open Society Institute or from Soros himself. In fairness, Soros has been far more critical of his former protege Leonid Kuchma, president of the Ukraine, a country described by the former intelligence officer Mykola Melnychenko as “one big protection racket”, and now possibly the most repressive police state in Europe.
But generally the sad conclusion is that for all his liberal quoting of Popper, Soros deems a society “open” not if it respects human rights and basic freedoms, but if it is “open” for him and his associates to make money. And, indeed, Soros has made money in every country he has helped to prise “open”. In Kosovo, for example, he has invested $50m in an attempt to gain control of the Trepca mine complex, where there are vast reserves of gold, silver, lead and other minerals estimated to be worth in the region of $5bn. He thus copied a pattern he has deployed to great effect over the whole of eastern Europe: of advocating “shock therapy” and “economic reform”, then swooping in with his associates to buy valuable state assets at knock-down prices.
More than a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Soros is the uncrowned king of eastern Europe. His Central European University, with campuses in Budapest, Warsaw and Prague and exchange programmes in the US, unashamedly propagates the ethos of neoliberal capitalism and clones the next pro-American generation of political leaders in the region. With his financial stranglehold over political parties, business, educational institutions and the arts, criticism of Soros in mainstream eastern European media is hard to find. Hagiography is not. The Budapest Sun reported in February how he had been made an honorary citizen of Budapest by the mayor, Gabor Demszky. “Few people have done to Budapest what George Soros has,” gushed Demszky, saying that the billionaire had contributed to “structural and mental changes in the capital city and Hungary itself”. The mayor failed to add that Soros is also a benefactor of Demszky’s own party, the Free Democrats, which, governing with “reform” communists, has pursued the classic Soros agenda of privatisation and economic liberalisation – leading to a widening gap between rich and poor.
The Soros strategy for extending Pax Americana differs from the Bush model, particularly in its subtlety. But it is just as ambitious and just as deadly. Left-liberals, admiring his support for some of their favourite issues such as gay rights and the legalisation of soft drugs, let him off lightly.
Asked about the havoc his currency speculation caused to Far Eastern economies in the crash of 1997, Soros replied: “As a market participant, I don’t need to be concerned with the consequences of my actions.” Strange words from a man who likes to be regarded as the saviour of civil society and who rails in print against “market fundamentalism”.
AnarchitexT George Soros Relation Map – Click to Enlarge