Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Today's Quote: George Soros

From Disinfo.com's newsletter

Today's Quote:
It is fascinating to consider how my current "charismatic" personality relates to the financial markets and to my previous self as a fund manager. It qualifies me to make deals or even to manipulate markets but disqualifies me from managing money. My utterances can move markets, although I make great efforts not to abuse that power. At the same time, I have lost the ability to operate within the confines of the market as I used to. I have dismantled the mechanism of pain and anxiety that used to guide me. This is a long story, which I recounted elsewhere. The change happened long before I acquired my "charisma." When I was an active fund manager, I used to shun publicity. I considered it the kiss of death to be on the cover of a financial magazine. This amounted to a superstition, but it was well supported by the evidence. It is easy to see why. The publicity would engender a feeling of euphoria and, even if I fought it, it would throw me off my stride. And if I expressed a market view in public, I found it more difficult to change my mind."
- George Soros, The Crisis of Global Capitalism (1998), Chapter 1

For the past few months Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Wall Street's pundits have been worrying about if fallout from the subprime crisis will trigger a long-term crisis. Now, hedge fund maven, post-capitalist and "open society" guru George Soros has proclaimed a recession. Soros has further rattled markets by stating that the crisis is the worst that global capitalism has faced since World War II. Is this an historical prognostication or is Soros looking to make millions by shorting the market. In panic selling overnight, the Australian share market fell 7 per cent - the biggest one-day fall in 18 years.

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