Boom Bust Cycle
George Soros, Hon (born Schwartz György, August 12, 1930) is a Hungarian-American billionaire investor and philanthropist. As of May 2020, he had a net worth of $8.3 billion, having donated more than $32 billion to the Open Society Foundations.Born in Budapest, Soros survived Nazi Germany-occupied Hungary and moved to the United Kingdom in 1947. He attended the London School of Economics, graduating with a bachelor’s and eventually a master’s degree in philosophy. Soros began his business career by taking various jobs at merchant banks in the United Kingdom and then the United States, before starting his first hedge fund, Double Eagle, in 1969. Profits from his first fund furnished the seed money to start Soros Fund Management, his second hedge fund, in 1970. Double Eagle was renamed to Quantum Fund and was the principal firm Soros advised. At its founding, Quantum Fund had $12 million in assets under management, and as of 2011 it had $25 billion, the majority of Soros’s overall net worth.Soros is known as “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England” because of his short sale of US$10 billion worth of pounds sterling, which made him a profit of $1 billion during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crisis. Based on his early studies of philosophy, Soros formulated an application of Karl Popper’s General Theory of Reflexivity to capital markets, which he claims renders a clear picture of asset bubbles and fundamental/market value of securities, as well as value discrepancies used for shorting and swapping stocks.Soros is a well-known supporter of progressive and liberal political causes, to which he dispenses donations through his foundation, the Open Society Foundations. Between 1979 and 2011, he donated more than $11 billion to various philanthropic causes; by 2017, his donations “on civil initiatives to reduce poverty and increase transparency, and on scholarships and universities around the world” totaled $12 billion. He influenced the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and provided one of Europe’s largest higher education endowments to the Central European University in his Hungarian hometown. His extensive funding of political causes has made him a “bugaboo of European nationalists”. Numerous American conservatives have promoted false claims that characterize Soros as a singularly dangerous “puppet master” behind a variety of alleged global plots, with The New York Times reporting that by 2018 these claims had “moved from the fringes to the mainstream” of Republican politics. Conspiracy theories targeting Soros, who is of Jewish descent, have often been described as antisemitic.