George Soros, born in Hungary in 1930, is one of the most prominent investors in history. Beyond his success as an investor, he stands out for his philanthropic contributions.
As an investor, Soros enjoys a great reputation worldwide. His strategies have led him to achieve great financial returns, without forgetting that he has also stood out for training other investors.
George Soros Youth
Born into a Jewish family in Hungary, Soros managed to survive the holocaust. After World War II and with the Russian occupation of Hungary, Soros and his family moved to Great Britain. There, Soros would train at the distinguished London School of Economics, where he studied Philosophy and Economics.
His landing in the world of finance came in 1954 thanks to a job at the Singer & Friedlander bank, dealing with work related to arbitration. Not long after, in 1956, he joined FM Mayer, which brought him to Wall Street.
Soros on Wall Street
Already in the ranks of FM Mayer, Soros continued with his specialized work in arbitration. However, the creation of the so-called CECA (European Coal and Steel Community), led Soros to work in the field of European shares.
The next company to use the services of George Soros was Wertheim & Co, which he joined in 1959. Meanwhile, Soros continued to delve into the study of economics and markets. Thanks to this, he formulated the Theory of Reflexivity of the Markets, which deals with the great fluctuations of the prices in the stock market.
Despite his academic work, Soros would not abandon his specialized work in European markets, which he continued to carry out at the investment firm Arnold and S. Bleichroeder, a company he joined in 1963.
Thanks to the spectacular returns achieved with a hedge fund of 4 million dollars, Soros was able to create his own firm around 1970. The manager was baptized with the name of Soros Fund Management.
betting against the pound
Soros’s moves against the pound sterling brought him worldwide fame. In fact, Soros is referred to by many as “the man who brought down the Bank of England.”
The British currency was in a context that Soros decided to take advantage of. Upon joining the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, the pound sterling had a higher exchange rate compared to the German mark. Thus, Soros decided to go down on the pound and opted for a bullish strategy for the German currency.
Soros’s movements were based on the fact that the Bank of England would not be able to maintain the pound at the levels set initially, so the collapse of the pound would end up leading to an appreciation of the German mark.
Between September 15 and 16, 1992, using his investment fund Quantum, Soros sold a total of 10,000 million dollars in pounds. The benefits of such a movement exceeded 1,100 million dollars. These attacks on the pound sterling, which occurred on September 16, 1992, were called “black Wednesday”.
Beyond his role in betting against the pound, Soros was also a major player in the 1997 Asian financial crises. In fact, the IMF blamed Soros for it. Furthermore, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad blamed Soros for the financial crisis, while referring to the Hungarian investor using derogatory anti-Semitic remarks. However, later, Mahathir bin Mohamad, in 2006, after meeting with Soros, retracted his statements.
Philanthropy of George Soros
Soros maintains a progressive political profile while showing himself to be a fervent defender of the free market economy. And it is that Soros does not hide his intentions, that they seek a great change in politics. All this has made him a very controversial public figure, earning enmity and being considered the ultimate responsible for various conspiracies.
Beyond his political thought, Soros has stood out for his great contribution in the field of philanthropy. Only the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation exceeds his contributions. Through the Open Society Foundation, created shortly after his big bet against the pound and the Bank of England, Soros has done a lot of philanthropic work. Among the causes that Soros finances through his foundation are the reduction of poverty, the rights of the LGBT community, the fight against racism and the development of the countries of Eastern Europe.