It wasn’t that long ago that currency speculator George Soros was traveling the globe urging a regulatory crackdown on the same financial sector that has allowed him to become a billionaire 14 times over.
In late 2008 the preachy political radical who has given more than $8 billion to charities and left-wing causes lectured a congressional committee. “The entire regulatory framework needs to be reconsidered and hedge funds need to be regulated within that framework,” he pontificated.
Soros got his wish, and the lawmakers his money helped to install in Congress dutifully approved the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Public Law 111-203).
Soros talks a good game when it comes to openness and transparency. With an obedient media in tow, he postures as a defender of business ethics and good government but the lofty ideals he espouses apply only to other people. In the end, when his personal interests are at stake, his professed ideals get discarded like yesterday’s racing form.
So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this man who has described himself as “some kind of god” now doesn’t want to comply with new disclosure rules that accompany the Dodd-Frank law. To avoid complying, he is closing his $25 billion Quantum funds to investors outside his family.
What new regulation does Soros consider to be so burdensome? A mere requirement that hedge funds such as his with more than $150 million under management register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by March 2012. A loophole allows a fund to skip registering if it manages only a family’s funds.
Why would Soros, benefactor of the aggressively leftist Open Society Institute, not want to register like all the other big players on Wall Street? In the scheme of things registration isn’t a big deal. Its major drawback is that it would open up Soros’s shady dealings to unprecedented public scrutiny.
In a case of typically British understatement, the Financial Times of London observed that Soros’s “decision contrasts with his own reputation as an advocate for both government and corporate transparency.”
There’s more than a mere contrast here. Soros’s refusal to register with the SEC is a deliberate betrayal of the principles to which he self-righteously pays lip service.
It’s all part of a pattern. Soros has long believed the rules don’t apply to him.
Soros would never allow regulators to examine his exotic investment schemes or his unorthodox financial strategies. Such oversight might give the government early warnings of his upcoming shenanigans.
Remember that Soros profits from economic destruction.
He was convicted of insider trading in France in 2006. He has caused havoc worldwide with his currency bets. For example, he “broke” the Bank of England in 1992 by shorting the pound. Although he earned more than $1 billion in the process, his sneaky maneuver cost British taxpayers £3.3 billion.
In Britain, the Daily Mail just published an article indicating that Soros may have earned $10 billion on Friday by making a $1 billion bet that U.S. sovereign debt would lose its triple-A rating.
And Soros’s hypocrisy is breathtaking. While profiting handsomely from capitalism, Soros sings the praises of European-style socialism and says it’s “exactly what we need now.”
“The system we have now has actually broken down, only we haven’t quite recognized it and so you need to create a new one and this is the time to do it,” Soros said as he created the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) in 2009 with a $50 million endowment.
The purpose of INET, in his own words, is to develop “a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order.”
Soros also lauds the brutal totalitarian efficiency of the Communist regime in China and wants the People’s Republic to replace America as the world’s superpower. “Today China has not only a more vigorous economy, but actually a better functioning government than the United States,” he said last year.
In one sense, he’s right. If he pulled one of his economy-collapsing stunts in China, the authorities would waste no time putting him in front of a firing squad.
But in America Soros’s economic troublemaking earns him invitations to the Obama White House.