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George soros bet big on liberal democracy

Even as the initial waves of the virus appear to be All rights reserved. We use necessary cookies that enable this website to function properly. We also utilize cookies to help analyze our traffic and better understand the content preferences of our users. In addition, we share information with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information you have provided them or that they have collected from your use of their services.

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies. The episode was a nearly identical reprise of what happened to the British pound. There was one critical difference, however: While Britain was a major industrialized country that ultimately had little trouble absorbing the blow to its currency, Thailand was an emerging economy for which the consequences were devastating.

Economic output plunged, banks and businesses folded and huge numbers of people were thrown out of work. The baht crisis rippled into other Asian economies. Soros publicly rejected the criticism, but when investors took aim at the Indonesian rupiah in the fall of , Quantum was not among them.

Nor did it join other hedge funds when they targeted the Russian ruble the following year. Having already invested hundreds of millions of dollars trying to stabilize Russia, Soros would have been undercutting his own work by betting against the Russian currency. But by then, according to Johnson, the only reason that Soros was still running a hedge fund was to generate more money for his causes. I n a speech to students and faculty at Moldova University in , Soros described in strikingly personal terms why he became a political philanthropist.

In the early s, the O. During the late s and early s, Soros also cultivated a number of young activists he believed could advance his dream of remaking Hungary as a place he would never again feel compelled to leave. Among them was Viktor Orban, a bright, charismatic student who was ardently pro-democracy, or so it seemed.

In addition to providing Orban with a scholarship at Oxford, Soros donated money to Fidesz the Alliance of Young Democrats , a student organization that Orban helped found and that evolved into his political party. But during the s, Orban drifted to the right. Elected prime minister in , he governed as a mainstream conservative, emphasizing patriotism and traditional values. Outwardly, he remained pro-Western. But a shock defeat in the election seemed to radicalize Orban.

He packed the courts with Fidesz loyalists, and various independent media were bought out by Orban supporters. At the same time, he turned away from the West and drew close to Vladimir Putin. Orban was re-elected in The following year, the European refugee crisis hit. Groups that received financial support from the O.

The Hungarian Parliament enacted legislation requiring NGOs to register with the government and disclose foreign sources of income above a certain threshold; it passed a bill that would have stripped Central European University of the right to award diplomas in Hungary.

Parliament passed the bill last month. Not open but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the world. In mid-May, the O. Patrick Gaspard, the O. In recent years, governments throughout Eastern Europe have attacked Soros. But why Orban, personally popular and facing hopelessly divided opponents, chose to make Soros-bashing the centerpiece of his campaign puzzled many observers.

He has intelligence and charm. But Thomas Carothers, a senior vice president at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, believes that Soros was simply a useful cudgel for Orban. Civic groups were the last source of potential opposition, he says, and because some of them were backed by the O.

With Putinism and Orbanism on the rise and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall approaching, there is renewed debate about the import of the events of and whether Russians, Poles and Hungarians really intended to embrace the full menu of Western liberal values.

Francis Fukuyama is among those who have doubts today. That they definitely did not buy into. But Fukuyama went on to say that it takes events and skillful manipulators to rouse the forces of intolerance. In Hungary, the global financial crisis and the refugee crisis were the fuses, and Orban proved very adept at providing the spark. Leonard Benardo, the vice president of the O. In contrast to Benardo, my grandfather was not a social scientist. But like Soros, he was a Hungarian-born Jew who ended up in the United States, and he believed that anti-Semitism was a habit of mind that Hungarians would never kick.

He admired Soros, but thought he was wasting his money in Hungary. When I told Soros about my grandfather, he smiled and shook his head knowingly. He said that his brother, a shipping magnate, had felt the same way. Soros did not. He then told me a story from , about a Nazi officer his father met in a cafe. During the course of the conversation, the officer quietly admitted to misgivings about the orders he was obliged to carry out. His father, a Jew in hiding and virulently opposed to the Nazis, tried to comfort the officer, telling him that it was a difficult situation.

I asked him if he expected to visit Hungary again in his lifetime. Two weeks later, President Trump called Orban to congratulate him on his re-election. S oros became a major political donor in the United States during George W. Angered by what he saw as an effort by the Bush administration to use the war on terror to stoke fear and stifle dissent, he began donating vast sums to Democratic candidates and progressive causes.

In addition to being a generous donor, he was an outspoken one. While he had no desire for a formal role in the administration, he had hoped that Obama would seek his counsel, especially on financial and economic matters. Instead, he was frozen out. Trump had tried to coax him into becoming the lead tenant in one of his commercial buildings, he said.

Five months on, he was sticking by those predictions. Asked if he would support Bernie Sanders if the Vermont senator won the Democratic nomination in , Soros said it was too soon to say. It was the extremism of the Republican Party that had prompted him to become a major Democratic donor, he said; he wanted the Republican Party to reform itself into a more moderate party. That would hurt them. If Soros views his relationship with the Democratic Party as mostly transactional, for some Democrats the feeling appears to be mutual.

While his money is welcome and needed, there seems to be a certain ambivalence about Soros within Democratic circles. It is partly because of his outspokenness. That Supreme Court ruling gave billionaires like Soros the right to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns. Although Soros is squarely on the left on many issues — he supports a single-payer health care system and is a longtime advocate of criminal-justice reform — some on the left have long been dubious of him.

In the s, he was portrayed by the far left as an agent of American imperialism, helping to foist the so-called neoliberal agenda mass privatization, for example on Eastern Europe. There is also discomfort with his philanthropy — not its goals, certainly, but what it is seen to represent.

Last year Forbes magazine ranked Soros the 20th-richest American. To those who object, this represents the privatization of social policy and, through the substantial tax benefits that charitable donations receive, it deprives the public sector of money that could be used to promote social welfare.

When I asked Soros to describe himself ideologically, he laughed. Bespectacled, wiry and careful with his words, he had recently earned a doctorate in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and was now running his own philanthropy while also working with the O. The dog-whistling has not abated with time; some would argue that anti-Semitism directed at Soros has become, at least under Orban, a state-sponsored contagion. But it has also lately taken some bizarre twists.

Last year, a son of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, posted an anti-Semitic cartoon of Soros on his Facebook page. And, of course, Soros is also routinely accused of having been a Nazi. Anti-Soros sentiment is a more recent phenomenon in the United States. Soros became a focal point of right-wing vitriol when he started contributing to the Democrats. Soros is regularly portrayed as the deus ex machina of American politics, a vast left-wing conspiracy unto himself.

His wily hand — and wallet — have been blamed for the national-anthem protests in the N. On Twitter, Soros haters trace virtually every national trauma, as well as every setback for conservatives, to him, or anything with the flimsiest connection to him.

The claim about Charlottesville, for instance, was leveled by Paul Gosar, a Republican member of Congress. None of them attempted to explain why this was a problem; it was apparently self-evident. Soros obsessives eventually seized on this as proof that he was now intent on manipulating election outcomes. In response, the company felt obliged to post a disclaimer on its website stating that Soros had no stake in Smartmatic and that its technology was not used during the United States presidential election.

When I spoke with Malloch-Brown, he told me that this was the price of being associated in any way with Soros. Much of what is said about Soros on Facebook, Twitter and in right-wing media outlets is not overtly anti-Semitic, and it is possible that some of the people pushing these views are not even aware that he is Jewish.

But the echoes are there. Glenn Beck used his show on Fox to peddle wild conspiracy theories about Soros. In recent years, the so-called alt-right has become a key driver of Soros paranoia. Neither claim is true. Although the broadsides at Soros are often highly suggestive, the people behind them are usually careful to maintain a degree of deniability when it comes to the question of anti-Semitism.

But not always. In April, I met with Lamont. Now a member of the House of Lords and an ardent Brexit supporter, he insisted that he bore no ill will toward Soros because of Black Wednesday. But he regarded Brexit as a domestic political matter in which foreign money should play no part. That Soros had a home and office in London was irrelevant. I asked Soros what he would say to a Brexit supporter puzzled by his seemingly contradictory roles in Black Wednesday and Brexit. His reply suggested he thought the answer was obvious.

It is a comment that gets to the heart of the Soros conundrum. Even if you concede that policymakers are ultimately to blame for the income inequality that has fueled so much of the current backlash against globalization, the financial sector has had a major role in worsening it, and hedge-fund titans like Soros are powerful symbols of that inequality.

That is unquestionably true and in fact, Quantum was not the only hedge fund targeting those currencies. But that is not a particularly satisfying answer, and certainly not after the Great Recession, in which investment banks and hedge funds played such a destructive role. The industry that made him a billionaire contributed significantly to the circumstances that now imperil what Soros the philanthropist has tried to achieve.

It might have gone to a noble cause, but almost certainly not to something as ambitious and quixotic — or as dangerous — as the promotion of liberal values and democracy. Most plutocrats measure progress in numbers, but the kind of work that Soros, through the O.

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Share Tweet Share. Download Now. He had to make money first, though. In , Soros formed what would become the Quantum Fund. It was one of a new breed of investment vehicles known as hedge funds, which catered to institutional investors and wealthy individuals and which used leverage — borrowed money — to make huge bets on stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities.

Quantum was wildly successful from its start, delivering 40 percent annual returns. By the late s, Soros had become a very wealthy man. Now he had the means to make himself an agent of history. He was frank about his ambition, though also self-deprecating.

If truth be known, I carried some rather potent messianic fantasies with me from childhood which I felt I had to control, otherwise they might get me into trouble. But when I had made my way in the world I wanted to indulge my fantasies to the extent that I could afford. He decided that his goal would be opening closed societies.

He created a philanthropic organization, then called the Open Society Fund, in and began sponsoring college scholarships for black South African students. But he soon turned his attention to Eastern Europe, where he started financing dissident groups. He funneled money to the Solidarity strikers in Poland in and to Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia. In one especially ingenious move, he sent hundreds of Xerox copiers to Hungary to make it easier for underground publications to disseminate their newsletters.

In the late s, he provided dozens of Eastern European students with scholarships to study in the West, with the aim of fostering a generation of liberal democratic leaders. One of those students was Viktor Orban, who studied civil society at Oxford. From his Manhattan trading desk, Soros became a strange sort of expat anticommunist revolutionary. In the meantime, Quantum grew into a multibillion-dollar colossus.

Soros made his most famous trade in , when he bet against the British pound. The currency was vulnerable because it had been pegged at what seemed an unsustainably high rate against the German mark; with Britain in recession, Soros reasoned, the British government would ultimately choose to see the pound devalued rather than maintain the high interest rates needed to defend it from speculative investors.

The sterling crisis turned hedge funds into the glamorous rogues of finance and demonstrated the punitive power that they could wield against policymakers in a world of free-flowing capital. By then, the Soviet empire had collapsed, and Soros was devoting huge sums of his own money to try to smooth its transition from Communist rule. This part of the world had little tradition of civil society and liberal democracy, and in his view these needed to be nurtured if the region was to avoid backsliding into autocracy.

During the s, Soros toggled between his day job and his philanthropy, and it was not always easy to disentangle his dual roles. For a time, Quantum and O. If that was the case, indigestion was inevitable, and it came in , when Quantum was at the center of a speculative attack on the Thai baht. The episode was a nearly identical reprise of what happened to the British pound. There was one critical difference, however: While Britain was a major industrialized country that ultimately had little trouble absorbing the blow to its currency, Thailand was an emerging economy for which the consequences were devastating.

Economic output plunged, banks and businesses folded and huge numbers of people were thrown out of work. The baht crisis rippled into other Asian economies. Soros publicly rejected the criticism, but when investors took aim at the Indonesian rupiah in the fall of , Quantum was not among them. Nor did it join other hedge funds when they targeted the Russian ruble the following year.

Having already invested hundreds of millions of dollars trying to stabilize Russia, Soros would have been undercutting his own work by betting against the Russian currency. But by then, according to Johnson, the only reason that Soros was still running a hedge fund was to generate more money for his causes.

I n a speech to students and faculty at Moldova University in , Soros described in strikingly personal terms why he became a political philanthropist. In the early s, the O. During the late s and early s, Soros also cultivated a number of young activists he believed could advance his dream of remaking Hungary as a place he would never again feel compelled to leave. Among them was Viktor Orban, a bright, charismatic student who was ardently pro-democracy, or so it seemed.

In addition to providing Orban with a scholarship at Oxford, Soros donated money to Fidesz the Alliance of Young Democrats , a student organization that Orban helped found and that evolved into his political party. But during the s, Orban drifted to the right. Elected prime minister in , he governed as a mainstream conservative, emphasizing patriotism and traditional values. Outwardly, he remained pro-Western. But a shock defeat in the election seemed to radicalize Orban.

He packed the courts with Fidesz loyalists, and various independent media were bought out by Orban supporters. At the same time, he turned away from the West and drew close to Vladimir Putin. Orban was re-elected in The following year, the European refugee crisis hit. Groups that received financial support from the O.

The Hungarian Parliament enacted legislation requiring NGOs to register with the government and disclose foreign sources of income above a certain threshold; it passed a bill that would have stripped Central European University of the right to award diplomas in Hungary.

Parliament passed the bill last month. Not open but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the world.

In mid-May, the O. Patrick Gaspard, the O. In recent years, governments throughout Eastern Europe have attacked Soros. But why Orban, personally popular and facing hopelessly divided opponents, chose to make Soros-bashing the centerpiece of his campaign puzzled many observers. He has intelligence and charm. But Thomas Carothers, a senior vice president at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, believes that Soros was simply a useful cudgel for Orban.

Civic groups were the last source of potential opposition, he says, and because some of them were backed by the O. With Putinism and Orbanism on the rise and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall approaching, there is renewed debate about the import of the events of and whether Russians, Poles and Hungarians really intended to embrace the full menu of Western liberal values.

Francis Fukuyama is among those who have doubts today. That they definitely did not buy into. But Fukuyama went on to say that it takes events and skillful manipulators to rouse the forces of intolerance. In Hungary, the global financial crisis and the refugee crisis were the fuses, and Orban proved very adept at providing the spark. Leonard Benardo, the vice president of the O. In contrast to Benardo, my grandfather was not a social scientist.

But like Soros, he was a Hungarian-born Jew who ended up in the United States, and he believed that anti-Semitism was a habit of mind that Hungarians would never kick. He admired Soros, but thought he was wasting his money in Hungary. When I told Soros about my grandfather, he smiled and shook his head knowingly. He said that his brother, a shipping magnate, had felt the same way. Soros did not. He then told me a story from , about a Nazi officer his father met in a cafe.

During the course of the conversation, the officer quietly admitted to misgivings about the orders he was obliged to carry out. His father, a Jew in hiding and virulently opposed to the Nazis, tried to comfort the officer, telling him that it was a difficult situation.

I asked him if he expected to visit Hungary again in his lifetime. Two weeks later, President Trump called Orban to congratulate him on his re-election. S oros became a major political donor in the United States during George W. Angered by what he saw as an effort by the Bush administration to use the war on terror to stoke fear and stifle dissent, he began donating vast sums to Democratic candidates and progressive causes. In addition to being a generous donor, he was an outspoken one.

While he had no desire for a formal role in the administration, he had hoped that Obama would seek his counsel, especially on financial and economic matters. Instead, he was frozen out. Trump had tried to coax him into becoming the lead tenant in one of his commercial buildings, he said.

Five months on, he was sticking by those predictions. Asked if he would support Bernie Sanders if the Vermont senator won the Democratic nomination in , Soros said it was too soon to say. It was the extremism of the Republican Party that had prompted him to become a major Democratic donor, he said; he wanted the Republican Party to reform itself into a more moderate party. That would hurt them.

If Soros views his relationship with the Democratic Party as mostly transactional, for some Democrats the feeling appears to be mutual. While his money is welcome and needed, there seems to be a certain ambivalence about Soros within Democratic circles. It is partly because of his outspokenness.

That Supreme Court ruling gave billionaires like Soros the right to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns. Although Soros is squarely on the left on many issues — he supports a single-payer health care system and is a longtime advocate of criminal-justice reform — some on the left have long been dubious of him.

In the s, he was portrayed by the far left as an agent of American imperialism, helping to foist the so-called neoliberal agenda mass privatization, for example on Eastern Europe. There is also discomfort with his philanthropy — not its goals, certainly, but what it is seen to represent.

Last year Forbes magazine ranked Soros the 20th-richest American. To those who object, this represents the privatization of social policy and, through the substantial tax benefits that charitable donations receive, it deprives the public sector of money that could be used to promote social welfare.

When I asked Soros to describe himself ideologically, he laughed. Bespectacled, wiry and careful with his words, he had recently earned a doctorate in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and was now running his own philanthropy while also working with the O. The dog-whistling has not abated with time; some would argue that anti-Semitism directed at Soros has become, at least under Orban, a state-sponsored contagion.

But it has also lately taken some bizarre twists. Last year, a son of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, posted an anti-Semitic cartoon of Soros on his Facebook page. And, of course, Soros is also routinely accused of having been a Nazi. Anti-Soros sentiment is a more recent phenomenon in the United States.

Soros became a focal point of right-wing vitriol when he started contributing to the Democrats. Soros is regularly portrayed as the deus ex machina of American politics, a vast left-wing conspiracy unto himself. His wily hand — and wallet — have been blamed for the national-anthem protests in the N.

He studied at the London School of Economics and was awarded a bachelor'sthen obtaining a master'sand eventually a Doctor of Philosophy Ph.

George soros bet big on liberal democracy De football betting
Csgo betting 1v1 Archived from the original on July 30, Retrieved April 26, Archived from the original on August 17, Archived from the original on February 7, The markka had been put floating as a result of the early s depression. Wade, ed. Archived from the original on May 29,
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We also utilize cookies to help analyze our traffic and better understand the content preferences of our users. In addition, we share information with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information you have provided them or that they have collected from your use of their services. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website.

The website cannot function properly without these cookies. Preference cookies enable a website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in. Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously. Targeting cookies allow us to share content and information with you that is most relevant to your interests based on how you have used our website previously.

In recent years, governments throughout Eastern Europe have attacked Soros. But why Orban, personally popular and facing hopelessly divided opponents, chose to make Soros-bashing the centerpiece of his campaign puzzled many observers. He has intelligence and charm. But Thomas Carothers, a senior vice president at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, believes that Soros was simply a useful cudgel for Orban.

Civic groups were the last source of potential opposition, he says, and because some of them were backed by the O. With Putinism and Orbanism on the rise and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall approaching, there is renewed debate about the import of the events of and whether Russians, Poles and Hungarians really intended to embrace the full menu of Western liberal values.

Francis Fukuyama is among those who have doubts today. That they definitely did not buy into. But Fukuyama went on to say that it takes events and skillful manipulators to rouse the forces of intolerance. In Hungary, the global financial crisis and the refugee crisis were the fuses, and Orban proved very adept at providing the spark.

Leonard Benardo, the vice president of the O. In contrast to Benardo, my grandfather was not a social scientist. But like Soros, he was a Hungarian-born Jew who ended up in the United States, and he believed that anti-Semitism was a habit of mind that Hungarians would never kick. He admired Soros, but thought he was wasting his money in Hungary. When I told Soros about my grandfather, he smiled and shook his head knowingly. He said that his brother, a shipping magnate, had felt the same way.

Soros did not. He then told me a story from , about a Nazi officer his father met in a cafe. During the course of the conversation, the officer quietly admitted to misgivings about the orders he was obliged to carry out. His father, a Jew in hiding and virulently opposed to the Nazis, tried to comfort the officer, telling him that it was a difficult situation. I asked him if he expected to visit Hungary again in his lifetime.

Two weeks later, President Trump called Orban to congratulate him on his re-election. S oros became a major political donor in the United States during George W. Angered by what he saw as an effort by the Bush administration to use the war on terror to stoke fear and stifle dissent, he began donating vast sums to Democratic candidates and progressive causes. In addition to being a generous donor, he was an outspoken one.

While he had no desire for a formal role in the administration, he had hoped that Obama would seek his counsel, especially on financial and economic matters. Instead, he was frozen out. Trump had tried to coax him into becoming the lead tenant in one of his commercial buildings, he said. Five months on, he was sticking by those predictions. Asked if he would support Bernie Sanders if the Vermont senator won the Democratic nomination in , Soros said it was too soon to say.

It was the extremism of the Republican Party that had prompted him to become a major Democratic donor, he said; he wanted the Republican Party to reform itself into a more moderate party. That would hurt them. If Soros views his relationship with the Democratic Party as mostly transactional, for some Democrats the feeling appears to be mutual.

While his money is welcome and needed, there seems to be a certain ambivalence about Soros within Democratic circles. It is partly because of his outspokenness. That Supreme Court ruling gave billionaires like Soros the right to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns. Although Soros is squarely on the left on many issues — he supports a single-payer health care system and is a longtime advocate of criminal-justice reform — some on the left have long been dubious of him.

In the s, he was portrayed by the far left as an agent of American imperialism, helping to foist the so-called neoliberal agenda mass privatization, for example on Eastern Europe. There is also discomfort with his philanthropy — not its goals, certainly, but what it is seen to represent.

Last year Forbes magazine ranked Soros the 20th-richest American. To those who object, this represents the privatization of social policy and, through the substantial tax benefits that charitable donations receive, it deprives the public sector of money that could be used to promote social welfare. When I asked Soros to describe himself ideologically, he laughed. Bespectacled, wiry and careful with his words, he had recently earned a doctorate in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and was now running his own philanthropy while also working with the O.

The dog-whistling has not abated with time; some would argue that anti-Semitism directed at Soros has become, at least under Orban, a state-sponsored contagion. But it has also lately taken some bizarre twists. Last year, a son of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, posted an anti-Semitic cartoon of Soros on his Facebook page. And, of course, Soros is also routinely accused of having been a Nazi.

Anti-Soros sentiment is a more recent phenomenon in the United States. Soros became a focal point of right-wing vitriol when he started contributing to the Democrats. Soros is regularly portrayed as the deus ex machina of American politics, a vast left-wing conspiracy unto himself. His wily hand — and wallet — have been blamed for the national-anthem protests in the N.

On Twitter, Soros haters trace virtually every national trauma, as well as every setback for conservatives, to him, or anything with the flimsiest connection to him. The claim about Charlottesville, for instance, was leveled by Paul Gosar, a Republican member of Congress.

None of them attempted to explain why this was a problem; it was apparently self-evident. Soros obsessives eventually seized on this as proof that he was now intent on manipulating election outcomes. In response, the company felt obliged to post a disclaimer on its website stating that Soros had no stake in Smartmatic and that its technology was not used during the United States presidential election.

When I spoke with Malloch-Brown, he told me that this was the price of being associated in any way with Soros. Much of what is said about Soros on Facebook, Twitter and in right-wing media outlets is not overtly anti-Semitic, and it is possible that some of the people pushing these views are not even aware that he is Jewish. But the echoes are there. Glenn Beck used his show on Fox to peddle wild conspiracy theories about Soros. In recent years, the so-called alt-right has become a key driver of Soros paranoia.

Neither claim is true. Although the broadsides at Soros are often highly suggestive, the people behind them are usually careful to maintain a degree of deniability when it comes to the question of anti-Semitism. But not always. In April, I met with Lamont. Now a member of the House of Lords and an ardent Brexit supporter, he insisted that he bore no ill will toward Soros because of Black Wednesday. But he regarded Brexit as a domestic political matter in which foreign money should play no part.

That Soros had a home and office in London was irrelevant. I asked Soros what he would say to a Brexit supporter puzzled by his seemingly contradictory roles in Black Wednesday and Brexit. His reply suggested he thought the answer was obvious. It is a comment that gets to the heart of the Soros conundrum. Even if you concede that policymakers are ultimately to blame for the income inequality that has fueled so much of the current backlash against globalization, the financial sector has had a major role in worsening it, and hedge-fund titans like Soros are powerful symbols of that inequality.

That is unquestionably true and in fact, Quantum was not the only hedge fund targeting those currencies. But that is not a particularly satisfying answer, and certainly not after the Great Recession, in which investment banks and hedge funds played such a destructive role. The industry that made him a billionaire contributed significantly to the circumstances that now imperil what Soros the philanthropist has tried to achieve. It might have gone to a noble cause, but almost certainly not to something as ambitious and quixotic — or as dangerous — as the promotion of liberal values and democracy.

Most plutocrats measure progress in numbers, but the kind of work that Soros, through the O. And as Leonard Benardo, the vice president of the O. Given the political currents in Europe, this is another battle that Soros may well be losing. But it is also a clarifying battle. Setting aside all of the complications that come with being George Soros, would you rather live in the world that he has tried to create, or in the world that Salvini and Orban and, for that matter, Trump seem to be pushing us toward?

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, it can certainly be argued that how Soros earned his money, and the fact that he accumulated such wealth, ought to carry more moral opprobrium in than maybe it did in But there is also a case to be made that in the present moment, with its echoes of the s, how he amassed his fortune matters a lot less than what he has chosen to do with it.

He clearly misjudged Orban. On the morning of July 5, I visited Soros at his home in the Hamptons. He had returned from Europe the week before and was spending the rest of the summer at El Mirador, as his Mediterranean-style villa is known. For years, Soros has used the bedroom, 15,square-foot complex as a salon of sorts, entertaining a revolving cast of writers, academics and political activists. Back in the day, Soros could often be found playing chess outside with dissidents from Eastern Europe.

He was dressed in a white linen shirt, dark trousers and sandals. In the five weeks since I had seen Soros in Paris, the Trump administration had slapped new trade sanctions on China and imposed tariffs on goods from Canada and the European Union. I asked why the markets and the broader economy were holding up so well in the face of a possible global trade war, the breakdown of the trans-Atlantic alliance and the political turmoil in Washington. Soros claimed that because the financial world was no longer his main focus, he was unable to time the markets the way that he used to.

Politics now commanded his attention. Soros was in a reflective mood. The new-age autocrats had shown themselves to be particularly cunning in going after civil society as a means of consolidating their power. It had become clear to him that his mentor and inspiration, Karl Popper, had been wrong in one critical respect.

In politics, you are spinning the truth, not discovering it. Soros acknowledged that he had said things in the past that he now regretted — not necessarily the sentiments, but the way he had expressed them. In Paris, Alex Soros had told me that his father, while an excellent parent, had been emotionally distant. As my conversation with Soros in Southampton drew to a close, I thought I picked up a little vulnerability.

He was talking about his wealth and the opportunities it had given him. For a long time, money had given him the freedom to do and say what he pleased, and also the freedom not to care what other people said and thought about him. But he conceded that he had started to care.

He also admitted that being the anointed villain for so many people around the world was unpleasant.

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Nationalism and tribalism are resurgent, barriers are being raised and borders reinforced and Soros is confronting the possibility that the goal to which he has devoted most of his wealth and the last chapter of his life will end in failure. These Soros-funded efforts moved through dozens of c 3 and c 4 charities and involved the active compliance with civil rights groups, government officials, and purportedly non-partisan groups like the League of Women Voters.

The leaked documents also reveal deliberate and successful efforts to manipulate media coverage of election issues in mainstream media outlets like the The New York Times. The breadth of the influence of Soros on the American Left is such that one wonders whether he is not funding the entire shebang. Richard Fleming explains that there is an enormous amount of deception In this interview with Dr.

Current Issue. Restoring Election Integrity by Kurt Hyde. Who Were the Vandals? Mitchell Shaw. More results Generic filters Hidden label. Hidden label. Cort Kirkwood R. During the late s and early s, Soros also cultivated a number of young activists he believed could advance his dream of remaking Hungary as a place he would never again feel compelled to leave. Among them was Viktor Orban, a bright, charismatic student who was ardently pro-democracy, or so it seemed.

In addition to providing Orban with a scholarship at Oxford, Soros donated money to Fidesz the Alliance of Young Democrats , a student organization that Orban helped found and that evolved into his political party. But during the s, Orban drifted to the right. Elected prime minister in , he governed as a mainstream conservative, emphasizing patriotism and traditional values. Outwardly, he remained pro-Western.

But a shock defeat in the election seemed to radicalize Orban. He packed the courts with Fidesz loyalists, and various independent media were bought out by Orban supporters. At the same time, he turned away from the West and drew close to Vladimir Putin. Orban was re-elected in The following year, the European refugee crisis hit. Groups that received financial support from the O. The Hungarian Parliament enacted legislation requiring NGOs to register with the government and disclose foreign sources of income above a certain threshold; it passed a bill that would have stripped Central European University of the right to award diplomas in Hungary.

Parliament passed the bill last month. Not open but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the world. In mid-May, the O. Patrick Gaspard, the O. In recent years, governments throughout Eastern Europe have attacked Soros.

But why Orban, personally popular and facing hopelessly divided opponents, chose to make Soros-bashing the centerpiece of his campaign puzzled many observers. He has intelligence and charm. But Thomas Carothers, a senior vice president at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, believes that Soros was simply a useful cudgel for Orban. Civic groups were the last source of potential opposition, he says, and because some of them were backed by the O.

With Putinism and Orbanism on the rise and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall approaching, there is renewed debate about the import of the events of and whether Russians, Poles and Hungarians really intended to embrace the full menu of Western liberal values. Francis Fukuyama is among those who have doubts today.

That they definitely did not buy into. But Fukuyama went on to say that it takes events and skillful manipulators to rouse the forces of intolerance. In Hungary, the global financial crisis and the refugee crisis were the fuses, and Orban proved very adept at providing the spark. Leonard Benardo, the vice president of the O. In contrast to Benardo, my grandfather was not a social scientist. But like Soros, he was a Hungarian-born Jew who ended up in the United States, and he believed that anti-Semitism was a habit of mind that Hungarians would never kick.

He admired Soros, but thought he was wasting his money in Hungary. When I told Soros about my grandfather, he smiled and shook his head knowingly. He said that his brother, a shipping magnate, had felt the same way. Soros did not. He then told me a story from , about a Nazi officer his father met in a cafe. During the course of the conversation, the officer quietly admitted to misgivings about the orders he was obliged to carry out. His father, a Jew in hiding and virulently opposed to the Nazis, tried to comfort the officer, telling him that it was a difficult situation.

I asked him if he expected to visit Hungary again in his lifetime. Two weeks later, President Trump called Orban to congratulate him on his re-election. S oros became a major political donor in the United States during George W. Angered by what he saw as an effort by the Bush administration to use the war on terror to stoke fear and stifle dissent, he began donating vast sums to Democratic candidates and progressive causes.

In addition to being a generous donor, he was an outspoken one. While he had no desire for a formal role in the administration, he had hoped that Obama would seek his counsel, especially on financial and economic matters. Instead, he was frozen out. Trump had tried to coax him into becoming the lead tenant in one of his commercial buildings, he said. Five months on, he was sticking by those predictions. Asked if he would support Bernie Sanders if the Vermont senator won the Democratic nomination in , Soros said it was too soon to say.

It was the extremism of the Republican Party that had prompted him to become a major Democratic donor, he said; he wanted the Republican Party to reform itself into a more moderate party. That would hurt them. If Soros views his relationship with the Democratic Party as mostly transactional, for some Democrats the feeling appears to be mutual. While his money is welcome and needed, there seems to be a certain ambivalence about Soros within Democratic circles.

It is partly because of his outspokenness. That Supreme Court ruling gave billionaires like Soros the right to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns. Although Soros is squarely on the left on many issues — he supports a single-payer health care system and is a longtime advocate of criminal-justice reform — some on the left have long been dubious of him.

In the s, he was portrayed by the far left as an agent of American imperialism, helping to foist the so-called neoliberal agenda mass privatization, for example on Eastern Europe. There is also discomfort with his philanthropy — not its goals, certainly, but what it is seen to represent. Last year Forbes magazine ranked Soros the 20th-richest American.

To those who object, this represents the privatization of social policy and, through the substantial tax benefits that charitable donations receive, it deprives the public sector of money that could be used to promote social welfare. When I asked Soros to describe himself ideologically, he laughed. Bespectacled, wiry and careful with his words, he had recently earned a doctorate in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and was now running his own philanthropy while also working with the O.

The dog-whistling has not abated with time; some would argue that anti-Semitism directed at Soros has become, at least under Orban, a state-sponsored contagion. But it has also lately taken some bizarre twists. Last year, a son of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, posted an anti-Semitic cartoon of Soros on his Facebook page. And, of course, Soros is also routinely accused of having been a Nazi. Anti-Soros sentiment is a more recent phenomenon in the United States.

Soros became a focal point of right-wing vitriol when he started contributing to the Democrats. Soros is regularly portrayed as the deus ex machina of American politics, a vast left-wing conspiracy unto himself. His wily hand — and wallet — have been blamed for the national-anthem protests in the N. On Twitter, Soros haters trace virtually every national trauma, as well as every setback for conservatives, to him, or anything with the flimsiest connection to him.

The claim about Charlottesville, for instance, was leveled by Paul Gosar, a Republican member of Congress. None of them attempted to explain why this was a problem; it was apparently self-evident. Soros obsessives eventually seized on this as proof that he was now intent on manipulating election outcomes. In response, the company felt obliged to post a disclaimer on its website stating that Soros had no stake in Smartmatic and that its technology was not used during the United States presidential election.

When I spoke with Malloch-Brown, he told me that this was the price of being associated in any way with Soros. Much of what is said about Soros on Facebook, Twitter and in right-wing media outlets is not overtly anti-Semitic, and it is possible that some of the people pushing these views are not even aware that he is Jewish. But the echoes are there. Glenn Beck used his show on Fox to peddle wild conspiracy theories about Soros. In recent years, the so-called alt-right has become a key driver of Soros paranoia.

Neither claim is true. Although the broadsides at Soros are often highly suggestive, the people behind them are usually careful to maintain a degree of deniability when it comes to the question of anti-Semitism. But not always. In April, I met with Lamont. Now a member of the House of Lords and an ardent Brexit supporter, he insisted that he bore no ill will toward Soros because of Black Wednesday. But he regarded Brexit as a domestic political matter in which foreign money should play no part.

That Soros had a home and office in London was irrelevant. I asked Soros what he would say to a Brexit supporter puzzled by his seemingly contradictory roles in Black Wednesday and Brexit. His reply suggested he thought the answer was obvious. It is a comment that gets to the heart of the Soros conundrum. Even if you concede that policymakers are ultimately to blame for the income inequality that has fueled so much of the current backlash against globalization, the financial sector has had a major role in worsening it, and hedge-fund titans like Soros are powerful symbols of that inequality.

That is unquestionably true and in fact, Quantum was not the only hedge fund targeting those currencies. But that is not a particularly satisfying answer, and certainly not after the Great Recession, in which investment banks and hedge funds played such a destructive role.

The industry that made him a billionaire contributed significantly to the circumstances that now imperil what Soros the philanthropist has tried to achieve. It might have gone to a noble cause, but almost certainly not to something as ambitious and quixotic — or as dangerous — as the promotion of liberal values and democracy. Most plutocrats measure progress in numbers, but the kind of work that Soros, through the O. And as Leonard Benardo, the vice president of the O.

Given the political currents in Europe, this is another battle that Soros may well be losing. But it is also a clarifying battle. Setting aside all of the complications that come with being George Soros, would you rather live in the world that he has tried to create, or in the world that Salvini and Orban and, for that matter, Trump seem to be pushing us toward? In the aftermath of the Great Recession, it can certainly be argued that how Soros earned his money, and the fact that he accumulated such wealth, ought to carry more moral opprobrium in than maybe it did in But there is also a case to be made that in the present moment, with its echoes of the s, how he amassed his fortune matters a lot less than what he has chosen to do with it.

He clearly misjudged Orban. On the morning of July 5, I visited Soros at his home in the Hamptons. He had returned from Europe the week before and was spending the rest of the summer at El Mirador, as his Mediterranean-style villa is known. For years, Soros has used the bedroom, 15,square-foot complex as a salon of sorts, entertaining a revolving cast of writers, academics and political activists.

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