George Soros

George Soros
George Soros
  • Born: August 12, 1930
  • Nationality: Hungarian
  • Profession: Investor, Hedge Fund Manager, Author, Philanthropist









Quote Topics Cited
… markets don't look after social needs. Markets are designed to allow individuals to look after their private needs and to pursue profit. It's really a great invention and I wouldn't under-estimate the value of that, but they're not designed to take care of social needs. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
A global government would almost by definition abusive. As someone who escaped from Communist government, how would I escape from global government. United Nations
Actions can have unintended adverse consequences. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
America is great precisely because it is an open society, and an open society recognizes that nobody is the ultimate arbiter — and that we may be wrong at times, even if we are powerful. We must be open to criticism and respect divergent and different views and interests. Freedom & Liberty ;Secrecy & Transparency
Americans, sadly, are now victims who have turned into perpetrators. Indeed, since September 2001, the war on terror has claimed more innocent victims than those terrorist attacks. This fact is unrecognized at home because the victims of the war on terror are not Americans. But the rest of the world does not draw the same distinction, and world opinion has turned against America. War & Peace
An open society is always in danger. It must constantly reaffirm its principles in order to survive. Freedom & Liberty ;Secrecy & Transparency
Even the most repressive regimes seek to maintain the fiction that they have the people’s interest at heart. Miscellaneous
For 18 months after September 11, it was unpatriotic to criticize the President. That is how he was able to lead us into the War in Iraq. In normal times the proposed war would never have withstood the criticism. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
Free elections are only one part of democracy. Constraint on the power of government and the rule of law and the institutions of democracy are just as important. Voters, Voting & Elections
I only remember the future. History
If my goal were to spread democracy, Iraq would be the last country that I would use as a demonstration. Democracies & Republics
If we want to be the leader of the world we have a unique responsibility to understand the problems of countries who cannot solve their own problems. Leaders & Leadership
Individual households have become over-dependent on the appreciation of housing as a substitute for savings. Housing
It's appropriate for people to pursue their profit motive in business. If you want to change that, you're going against human nature. But when it comes to setting the rules or creating the institutions, then you should have the general interest at heart. Regulation & Deregulation
Most of the misery and poverty in the world is due to bad government. Management & Managing Government
Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition, there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes. Policy & Policy Making
Our political system is based on two parties fighting to capture the middle. Unfortunately the Republican party has been captured by conservative extremists. Political Parties & Machines
Perhaps the greatest threat to freedom and democracy in the world today comes from the formation of unholy alliances between government and business. This is not a new phenomenon. It used to be called fascism. . . .The outward appearances of the democratic process are observed, but the powers of the state are diverted to the benefit of private interests. Freedom & Liberty ;Capitalism
Revolutions begin with enthusiasm but often end in tears. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Since armed conflicts and repressive regimes may pose dangers beyond the borders of the countries concerned, all democratic nations have an interest in overcoming collective action problems and promoting open societies all over the world. The earlier preventative actions begins, the less costly and more effective it is likely to be. Miscellaneous
States are supposed to have interests but no principles. I have principles but no interests. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The 1956 Hungarian Revolution was a failure at the time, but it was a success in that it sowed the seeds of what we have today. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
The collapse of a closed society does not always lead to an open society. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
The difference between being a rich guy in America and a rich guy in Europe is that in America people look up to you for being rich. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
The prevailing wisdom is that markets are always right. I take the opposition position. I assume that markets are always wrong… most of the time the trend prevails; only occasionally are the errors corrected. It is only on those occasions that one should go against the trend. This line of reasoning leads me to look for the flaw in every investment thesis. ... I am ahead of the curve. I watch out for telltale signs that a trend may be exhausted. Then I disengage from the herd and look for a different investment thesis. Or, if I think the trend has been carried to excess, I may probe going against it. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
The Republican Party has been captured by a bunch of extremists … People who maintain that markets will take care of everything, that you leave it to the markets and the markets know best. Therefore, you need no government, no interference with business. Let everybody pursue his own interests. And that will serve the common interest. Now, there is a good foundation for this. But it's a half-truth. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The sovereignty of states is a fairly archaic notion. If the rulers abuse their power and the people, what do you do then. The must be an international duty to protect. States. Nations & Nationhood
The supremacist ideology of the Bush Administration stands in opposition to the principles of an open society, which recognize that people have different views and that nobody is in possession of the ultimate truth. The supremacist ideology postulates that just because we are stronger than others, we know better and have right on our side. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
There is no single sustainable model for national success. … the American model, which has indeed been successful, is not available to others, because our success depends greatly on our dominant position at the center of the global capitalist system, and we are not willing to yield it. Development & Growth ;Capitalism
We are the dominant power. And that imposes on us a responsibility to be actually concerned with the well-being of the world. Power
We are the most powerful nation on earth. No external power, no terrorist organization, can defeat us. But we can defeat ourselves by getting caught in a quagmire. Power ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
We don’t like to face unpleasant reality. We want our leaders to tell us what we want to hear …. You cannot manipulate reality. Reality will real its ugly head Leaders & Leadership
We need to maintain law and order. We need to maintain peace in the world. We need to protect the environment. We need to have some degree of social justice, equality of opportunity. The markets are not designed to take care of those needs. That's a political process. Regulation & Deregulation
You always have more than one goal in foreign policy. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
You had the Crash [Meltdown] of 2008, where the financial system actually collapsed and had to be put on life support, which consisted of substituting sovereign credit for the financial credit that was no longer credible. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
A full and fair discussion is essential to democracy.
A lot of the evil in the world is actually not intentional. A lot of people in the financial system did a lot of damage without intending to.
An open society is a society which allows its members the greatest possible degree of freedom in pursuing their interests compatible with the interests of others. Society ;Freedom & Liberty
Bush's war in Iraq has done untold damage to the United States. It has impaired our military power and undermined the morale of our armed forces. Our troops were trained to project overwhelming power. They were not trained for occupation duties. Power ;War & Peace
I chose America as my home because I value freedom and democracy, civil liberties and an open society. Society ;Freedom & Liberty
I give away something up to $500 million a year throughout the world promoting Open Society. My foundations support people in the country who care about an open society. It's their work that I'm supporting. So it's not me doing it. Society ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I put forward a pretty general theory that financial markets are intrinsically unstable. That we really have a false picture when we think about markets tending towards equilibrium.
I see tremendous imbalance in the world. A very uneven playing field, which has gotten tilted very badly. I consider it unstable. At the same time, I don't exactly see what is going to reverse it. Time
I think there's a lot of merit in an international economy and global markets, but they're not sufficient because markets don't look after social needs.
I would prefer not to be involved in party politics. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
If the terrorists have the sympathy of people, it's much harder to find them. So we need people on our side, and that leads us to be responsible leaders of the world, show some concern with the problems. Sympathy
I'm not doing my philanthropic work, out of any kind of guilt, or any need to create good public relations. I'm doing it because I can afford to do it, and I believe in it. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Increasingly, the Chinese will own a lot more of the world because they will be converting their dollar reserves and U.S. government bonds into real assets. Government
Just as the process of repealing national alcohol prohibition began with individual states repealing their own prohibition laws, so individual states must now take the initiative with respect to repealing marijuana prohibition laws. Respect
Law has become a business. Health care has become a business. Unfortunately, politics has also become a business. That really undermines society. Health, Healthcare & Medicine ;Business, Commerce & Finance ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Market fundamentalists recognize that the role of the state in the economy is always disruptive, inefficient, and generally has negative connotations. This leads them to believe that the market mechanism can take care of all the problems.
Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux and money is made by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected. Money, Coins & Minting
Markets are designed to allow individuals to look after their private needs and to pursue profit. It's really a great invention and I wouldn't under-estimate the value of that, but they're not designed to take care of social needs.
My foundations support people in the country who care about an open society. It's their work that I'm supporting. So it's not me doing it. But I can empower them. I can support them, and I can help them. Society ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Now that I have called you on your false accusation, you are using additional smear tactics.
Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes.
President Bush is endangering our safety, hurting our vital interests, and undermining American values.
Proposition 19 already is a winner no matter what happens on election day. The mere fact of its being on the ballot has elevated and legitimized public discourse about marijuana and marijuana policy in ways I could not have imagined a year ago.
Regulating and taxing marijuana would simultaneously save taxpayers billions of dollars in enforcement and incarceration costs, while providing many billions of dollars in revenue annually.
Stock market bubbles don't grow out of thin air. They have a solid basis in reality, but reality as distorted by a misconception.
The criminalization of marijuana did not prevent marijuana from becoming the most widely used illegal substance in the United States and many other countries. But it did result in extensive costs and negative consequences.
The financial markets generally are unpredictable. So that one has to have different scenarios... The idea that you can actually predict what's going to happen contradicts my way of looking at the market. Business, Commerce & Finance
The people currently in charge have forgotten the first principle of an open society, namely that we may be wrong and that there has to be free discussion. That it's possible to be opposed to the policies without being unpatriotic. Society
The reality is that financial markets are self-destabilizing; occasionally they tend toward disequilibrium, not equilibrium.
The worse a situation becomes the less it takes to turn it around, the bigger the upside.
There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. The policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon administration contribute to that. It's not specifically anti-Semitism, but it does manifest itself in anti-Semitism as well.
Throughout the 19th century, when there was a laissez-faire mentality and insufficient regulation, you had one crisis after another. Each crisis brought about some reform. That is how central banking developed.
To my mind, there is a solution which has to do with democracy, because democratic governments are subject to the will of the people. So, if the people will it, you can actually create international institutions through the democratic states.
Unrestrained competition can drive people into actions that they would otherwise regret.
We must recognize that as the dominant power in the world we have a special responsibility. In addition to protecting our national interests, we must take the leadership in protecting the common interests of humanity. Power ;Leaders & Leadership
Well, you know, I was a human being before I became a businessman.
When I had made more money than I needed for myself and my family, I set up a foundation to promote the values and principles of a free and open society. Society ;Families, Children & Parenting ;Money, Coins & Minting
When it comes to social consequences, they've got all different people acting in different ways, very difficult to even have a proper criterion of success. So, it's a difficult task. Success
Who most benefits from keeping marijuana illegal? The greatest beneficiaries are the major criminal organizations in Mexico and elsewhere that earn billions of dollars annually from this illicit trade - and who would rapidly lose their competitive advantage if marijuana were a legal commodity. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement