George Soros, a Hungarian-American billionaire investor and philanthropist, is recognized for his significant impact on global finance and his extensive philanthropic efforts. Through his investment firm, Soros Fund Management, he made groundbreaking contributions to the world of hedge funds and currency trading. He is famously known for his involvement in the "Black Wednesday" currency crisis in 1992, where he successfully bet against the British pound and earned substantial profits. Beyond his financial achievements, Soros has been a committed advocate for open societies, human rights, and democratic governance. His philanthropic organizations have supported causes related to education, public health, and social justice around the world. Soros's influence as both a financial figure and a philanthropist underscores his belief in using his resources to effect positive change and promote the values of transparency, accountability, and social progress.
George Soros Quotes
Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes.
I'm not better than the next trader, just quicker at admitting my mistakes and moving on to the next opportunity.
There is no point in being confident and having a small position.
It's not whether you're right or wrong that's important, but how much money you make when you're right and how much you lose when you're wrong
The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States.
To others, being wrong is a source of shame; to me, recognizing my mistakes is a source of pride.
Now that I have called you on your false accusation, you are using additional smear tactics.
The sovereignty of states must be subordinated to international law and international institutions.
Stock market bubbles don't grow out of thin air. They have a solid basis in reality, but reality as distorted by a misconception.
Esperanto was a very useful language, because wherever you went, you found someone to speak with.
Unfortunately, the more complex the system, the greater the room for error.
The financial markets generally are unpredictable. So that one has to have different scenarios... The idea that you can actually predict what's going to happen contradicts my way of looking at the market.
There is very little difference between speculation and investment. The only difference is basically that investments are successful speculations because if you successfully anticipate the future you make a speculative profit.
The main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat.
Start by assuming the market is always wrong, so if you copy everybody else on Wall Street, you're doomed to do poorly.
If investing is entertaining, if you're having fun, you're probably not making any money. Good investing is boring.
I'm only rich because I know when I'm wrong.
The main difference between me and other people who have amassed this kind of money is that I am primarily interested in ideas, and I don't have much personal use for money.
Investors operate with limited funds and intelligence, they do not need to know everything. As long as they understand something better than others, they have an edge.
My approach works not by making valid predictions but by allowing me to correct false ones.
To be successful, you need leisure. You need time hanging heavily on your hands.
Economic history is a never-ending series of episodes based on falsehoods and lies, not truths. It represents the path to big money. The object is to recognize the trend whose premise is false, ride that trend and step off before it is discredited.
My sense of insecurity keeps me alert, always ready to correct my errors.
The hardest thing to judge is what level of risk is safe.
Every bubble has two components: something - some real trend, and a misconception about that trend.
Making an investment decision is like formulating a scientific hypothesis and submitting it to a practical test.
We are the most powerful nation on earth. No external power, no terrorist organization can defeat us. But we can defeat ourselves by getting caught in a quagmire.
Most of the poverty and misery in the world is due to bad government, lack of democracy, weak states, internal strife, and so on.
Short term volatility is greatest at turning points and diminishes as a trend becomes established
Fundamental analysis seeks to establish how underlying values are reflected in stock prices, whereas the theory of reflexivity shows how stock prices can influence underlying values
The integration of Europe was very much led by a Germany that was always willing to pay a little bit extra to reach a compromise that everybody accepted, because Germany was so eager to get European support for reunification. That was called the "farsighted vision," which created the European Union.
Money values do not simply mirror the state of affairs in the real world; valuation is a positive act that makes an impact on the course of events. Monetary and real phenomena are connected in a reflexive fashion; that is, they influence each other mutually. The reflexive relationship manifests itself most clearly in the use and abuse of credit.
These public-private partnerships are very, very dangerous. The most rotten part of the financial system in the US consisted of the government sponsored entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They really kicked off this crisis. The state should set the rules and enforce them - but not become involved as a market player.
Increase your bets when you are confident and scale down your positions when you don't have conviction.
Discount the obvious, bet on the unexpected
Revolutions usually start with enthusiasm and end in tears.
In politics, manipulating reality can take presidence over finding reality.
Find the trend whose premise is false, and bet against it.
Once a trend is established it tends to persist and to run it’s full course.
The strength of this country lies in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights and the freedom of speech and thought.
America needs to follow the policies it has introduced in Germany. We have to go through a certain de-Nazification process.
As an anonymous participant in financial markets, I never had to weigh the social consequences of my actions ... I felt justified in ignoring them on the grounds that I was playing by the rules.
I basically have survived by recognizing my mistakes.
It is much easier to put existing resources to better use, than to develop resources where they do not exist.
I am for maximum supervision and minimum regulation.
Who most benefits from keeping marijuana illegal? The greatest beneficiaries are the major criminal organizations in Mexico and elsewhere that earn billions of dollars annually from this illicit trade - and who would rapidly lose their competitive advantage if marijuana were a legal commodity.
When a long-term trend loses it’s momentum, short-term volatility tends to rise. It is easy to see why that should be so: the trend-following crowd is disoriented.
If I had to sum up my practical skills, I would use one word: survival. And operating a hedge fund utilized my training in survival to the fullest.
If truth be known, I carried some rather potent messianic fantasies with me from childhood which I felt I had to control, otherwise I might end up in the loony bin. But when I made my way in the world I wanted to indulge myself in my fantasies to the extent that I could afford.
The worse a situation becomes the less it takes to turn it around, the bigger the upside.
I don't panic. The same thing applies to me as to everybody else, so I'm given to euphoria and despair. And I would say that I basically have survived by recognizing my mistakes.
Outperforming the market with low volatility on a consistent basis is an impossibility. I outperformed the market for 30-odd years, but not with low volatility.
Market prices are always wrong in the sense that they present a biased view of the future.
An open society is a society which allows its members the greatest possible degree of freedom in pursuing their interests compatible with the interests of others.
I admire Chancellor Merkel for her leadership qualities, but she is leading Europe in the wrong direction.
Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux and money is made by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected.
The scope for improvement is infinite, precisely because perfection is unattainable.
Studying economics is not a good preparation for dealing with it.
Democracy, by its very nature, can't be imposed on people. Democracy has to be the people deciding for themselves.
At times of recession, running a budget deficit is highly desirable. Once the economy begins to recover, you have to balance the budget. But it will also need additional revenues. Should the government not receive them, we will all get punished with higher interest rates.
Markets are imperfect. So you do need regulation, knowing that the regulators are also human.
American supremacy is the greatest threat to the world today.
The collapse of the global marketplace would be a traumatic event with unimaginable consequences. Yet I find it easier to imagine than the continuation of the present regime.
In certain circumstances, financial markets can affect the so-called fundamentals which they are supposed to reflect. When that happens, markets enter into a state of dynamic disequilibrium and behave quite differently from what would be considered normal by the theory of efficient markets. Such boom/bust sequences do not arise very often, but when they do, they can be very disruptive, exactly because they affect the fundamentals of the economy.
I am not a Zionist, nor am I am a practicing Jew, but I have a great deal of sympathy for my fellow Jews and a deep concern for the survival of Israel.
The reality is that financial markets are self-destabilizing; occasionally they tend toward disequilibrium, not equilibrium.
I was a human being before I became a businessman.
Every bubble consists of a trend that can be observed in the real world and a misconception relating to that trend. The two elements interact with each other in a reflexive manner.
The global crisis is caused by pathologies inherent in the global financial system itself.
The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States. [This idea] happens to coincide with the prevailing opinion in the world. And I think that's rather shocking for Americans to hear.
The generally accepted view is that markets are always right - that is, market prices tend to discount future developments accurately even when it is unclear what those developments are. I start with the opposite view. I believe the market prices are always wrong in the sense that they present a biased view of the future.
I am not well qualified to criticize the theory of rational expectations and the efficient market hypothesis because as a market participant I considered them so unrealistic that I never bothered to study them.
The only thing that could hurt me is if my success encouraged me to return to my childhood fantasies of omnipotence - but that is not likely to happen as long as I remain engaged in the financial markets, because they constantly remind me of my limitations.
A global economy is characterized not only by the free movement of goods and services but, more important, by the free movement of ideas and of capital.
Markets can influence the events that they anticipate.
What works for Germany can't work for the rest of Europe: No country can run a chronic surplus without others running deficits.
When interest rates are low we have conditions for asset bubbles to develop, and they are developing at the moment. The ultimate asset bubble is gold.
By creating the European Central Bank, the member states exposed their own government bonds to the risk of default. Developed countries that issue bonds in their own currency never default, because they can always print money. Their currency may depreciate, but the risk of default is absent.
The laissez-faire argument relies on the same tacit appeal to perfection as does communism.
Hedge funds are a very efficient way of managing money. But there are clearly some risks. Hedge funds use credit and credit is a source of instability. Transactions involving credit should be regulated.
Advocating democracy has, by other people, often been taken as a form of imperialism, and not without some justification. So the important thing in a democracy is that it doesn't necessarily have to agree with what America's interests are, and it doesn't necessarily have to be serving American interests.
There is always a divergence between our perception and what actually exists.
Political debate is more interested in manipulating the truth, than finding the truth.
Taking this view, it is possible to see financial markets as a laboratory for testing hypotheses, albeit not strictly scientific ones. The truth is, successful investing is a kind of alchemy.
Changeless society is characterized by the absence of alternatives.
Market prices are always wrong.
I contend that financial markets never reflect the underlying reality accurately; they always distort it in some way or another and the distortions find expression in market prices. Those distortions can, occasionally, find ways to affect the fundamentals that market prices are supposed to reflect.
The lower interest rates fueled housing and consumption booms in countries such as Spain and Ireland. At the same time, Germany, struggling with the burdens of reunification, tightened its belt and became more competitive. All this led to a wide divergence in economic performance. Europe became divided into creditor and debtor countries.
Playing by the rules, one does the best he can, irrespective of the social consequences. Whereas in making the rules, people ought to be concerned with the social consequences and not with their personal interests.
This is the joint responsibility of everyone who was involved in the introduction of the euro without understanding the consequences. When the euro was introduced, the regulators allowed banks to buy unlimited amounts of government bonds without setting aside any equity capital. And the European Central Bank discounted all government bonds on equal terms. So commercial banks found it advantageous to accumulate the bonds of the weaker countries to earn a few extra basis points.
I call government that works the best for people open society, which is basically just another more general term for a democracy that is - you call it maybe a liberal democracy. It's not only majority rule but also respect for minorities and minority opinions and the rule of law. So it's really a sort of institutional democracy.
If we carry this line of argument to its logical conclusion, the meaning of life consists of the flaws in one's conceptions and what one does about them. Life can be seen as a fertile fallacy.
Financial markets are supposed to swing like a pendulum: They may fluctuate wildly in response to exogenous shocks, but eventually they are supposed to come to rest at an equilibrium point and that point is supposed to be the same irrespective of the interim fluctuations. Instead, as I told Congress, financial markets behaved more like a wrecking ball, swinging from country to country and knocking over the weaker ones. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the international financial system itself constituted the main ingredient in the meltdown process.
If the bubbles contain a misconception, as they always do, then it can't be maintained forever.
When money is free, the rational lender will keep on lending until there is no one else to lend to.
Making an investment decision is like formulating a scientific hypothesis and submitting it to a practical test. The main difference is that the hypothesis that underlies an investment decision is intended to make money and not to establish a universally valid generalization.
When I had made more money than I needed for myself and my family, I set up a foundation to promote the values and principles of a free and open society.
Mankind's ability to understand and control the forces of nature greatly exceeds our ability to govern ourselves
Anticipating attacks, I should like to emphasize that I do not subscribe to the myths propagated by enemies of Israel and I am not blaming Jews for anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism predates the birth of Israel. Neither Israel's policies nor the critics of those policies should be held responsible for anti-Semitism. At the same time, I do believe that attitudes toward Israel are influenced by Israel's policies, and attitudes toward the Jewish community are influenced by the pro-Israel lobby's success in suppressing divergent views.
The assumption of perfect knowledge is very far from reality. A lot of the evil in the world is actually not intentional.
It is sort of a disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.
My main concern is with the world order
Law has become a business. Health care has become a business. Unfortunately, politics has also become a business. That really undermines society.
I chose America as my home because I value freedom and democracy, civil liberties and an open society.
No individual anonymous participant can influence the prices and therefore you really can speculate in the market without paying attention to morality. That's one of the positive features of markets. That's why they function.
My conceptual framework, which basically emphasizes the importance of misconceptions, makes me extremely critical of my own decisions. I know that I am bound to be wrong, and therefore am more likely to correct my own mistakes.
The financial markets play an active role in determining what's going to happen, how the economy is going to function.
Markets are designed to allow individuals to look after their private needs and to pursue profit. It's really a great invention, and I wouldn't underestimate the value of that. But they're not designed to take care of social needs.
The people currently in charge have forgotten the first principle of an open society, namely that we may be wrong and that there has to be free discussion. That it's possible to be opposed to the policies without being unpatriotic.
Misconceptions play a prominent role in my view of the world.
The trouble with institutional investors is that their performance is usually measured relative to their peer group and not by an absolute yardstick. This makes them trend followers by definition.
Globalization has rendered the world increasingly interdependent, but international politics is still based on the sovereignty of states.
I used to be opposed to the idea of social entrepreneurship. I said, you know, let business be business, and philanthropy be philanthropy. Keep the two separate, don't mix it up, and this is what I did, and I did that rather successfully, but I now recognize that actually you do need to mix it up and I think there is room for social entrepreneurship.
We must not forget; but we must forgive. Suffering often such compassion from the Jewish community. It was Jewish groups in the US who were in the forefront in opposing the ethnic cleansing of Muslim in Bosnia.
I think that my foundation uses the money better than the government does. In any event, I do pay taxes.
I fancied myself as some kind of god or an economic reformer like Keynes
The prevailing wisdom is that markets are always right. I take the opposite position. I assume that markets are always wrong.
Whenever there is a conflict between universal principles and self-interest, self-interest is likely to prevail.
I rely a great deal on animal instincts.
To my mind, there is a solution which has to do with democracy, because democratic governments are subject to the will of the people. So, if the people will it, you can actually create international institutions through the democratic states.
If we care about universal principles such as freedom, democracy and the rule of law, we cannot leave them to the care of market forces; we must establish some other institutions to safeguard them.
I am against market fundamentalism. I think this propaganda that government involvement is always bad has been very successful - but also very harmful to our society.
An open society calls itself open to improvement. It is based on the recognition that people have divergent views and interests, and that nobody is in possession of the ultimate truth.
Giving government aid to a bank basically transforms it into a utility. The huge salaries in this sector are only a symptom of a more profound misalignment. The profitability of the finance industry has been excessive. [...] That was absurd.
We in the United States are very often - since we are a democracy and we have national interests, we've often made the mistake that a democracy has to adopt America's interests, and that is a contradiction because a democracy basically is people deciding what their interests are.
I wish I could write a book that will be read for as long as our civilization lasts. I would value it much more highly than any business success if I could contribute to an understanding of the world in which we live or, better yet, if I could help to preserve the economic and political system that has allowed me to flourish as a participant.
Bush's war in Iraq has done untold damage to the United States. It has impaired our military power and undermined the morale of our armed forces. Our troops were trained to project overwhelming power. They were not trained for occupation duties.
Economics seeks to be a science. Science is supposed to be objective and it is difficult to be scientific when the subject matter, the participant in the economic process, lacks objectivity.
I give away something up to $500 million a year throughout the world promoting Open Society. My foundations support people in the country who care about an open society. It's their work that I'm supporting. So it's not me doing it.
The world order needs a major overhaul.
It is credit that matters, not money. In other words, monetarism is a false ideology.
I think there's a lot of merit in an international economy and global markets, but they're not sufficient because markets don't look after social needs.
As I discovered, there is a great deal of similarity between a boom-bust process in the financial markets and the rise and fall of the Soviet system.
When it comes to social consequences, they've got all different people acting in different ways, very difficult to even have a proper criterion of success. So, it's a difficult task.
As a society we can't live without moral considerations. We do have to protect the public good. And markets are not designed to do that, so we need a political process.
The concept of a general equilibrium has no relevance to the real world. In other words, classical economics is an exercise in futility.
A lot of the evil in the world is actually not intentional. A lot of people in the financial system did a lot of damage without intending to.
When you sell options, you get paid for assuming risk. That can be a profitable business, but it does not mix well with the risks inherent in a leveraged portfolio.
There is a well-established conviction that the central banks always do what is necessary to keep the system going and then afterwards you then take care of the legal aspects. In a crisis, you simply do not have time to think about such concerns for too long.
I called gold the ultimate bubble, which means it may go higher. But it’s certainly not safe and it’s not going to last forever.
Germans tend to forget now that the euro was largely a Franco-German creation. No country has benefited more from the euro than Germany, both politically and economically. Therefore what has happened as a result of the introduction of the euro is largely Germany's its responsibility.
One of the myths propagated by the enemies of Israel is that there is an all-powerful Zionist conspiracy. That is a false accusation. Nevertheless, that AIPAC has been so successful in suppressing criticism has lent some credence to such false beliefs.
If the terrorists have the sympathy of people, it's much harder to find them. So we need people on our side, and that leads us to be responsible leaders of the world, show some concern with the problems.
― George Soros Quotes
Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.