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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Soros speaks the truth

The bottom line from George Soros, from this interview with Bill Moyers (via Barry Ritholtz). Read the whole transcript, or watch the interview -- there's much more about the credit crisis, modern finance, etc.

GEORGE SOROS: ...this belief that everybody pursuing his self-interests will maximize the common interests or will take care of the common interests is a false idea. It's a suitable idea for those who are rich, who are successful, who are powerful. It suits them to justify you know, enjoying the fruits without paying taxes.

It would be much easier for Soros to wax eloquent about how greed is good, greed works, markets are efficient optimizers, etc. He is, after all, a huge winner in the capitalist system. But he's seen too much to buy everything that Ayn Rand and market fundamentalists are selling.

Longer NYBooks article on Soros by John Cassidy, who covers business and finance for the New Yorker.

In 2007, after the subprime crisis erupted, he returned, at the age of seventy-seven, to directing Quantum's investments, with results suggesting he hadn't lost his touch. Alpha magazine, a glossy publication that covers hedge funds, estimates that he made $2.9 billion in 2007, placing him second on its list of mega-speculators, behind only John Paulson, of Paulson & Co., who raked in an even more astonishing $3.7 billion.

Earlier post on investor John Paulson, who made $15B for his fund betting against the credit bubble.

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