George Soros

George Soros (sôr´ōs), 1930–, American stock trader and philanthropist, b. Budapest, Hungary, as George Schwartz. He studied under Sir Karl Popper at the London School of Economics (grad. 1952). He emigrated from Hungary to Great Britain (1947) and then to the United States (1956). Soros mostly worked as a financial analyst, and in 1969 he founded the first of his offshore hedge funds. His Quantum funds grew in value tremendously, partly through speculation in foreign currency. He earned (1992) $1 billion on the fall of the British pound and notoriety as "the man who broke the Bank of England." In the late 1990s, financial analysts and government officials charged that this speculation had helped destabilize Asian and Latin American national economies. His reputation for financial acumen was tarnished somewhat, however, when the value of the funds fell 20% in early 2000.

As president of the Soros Management Fund, he has used his wealth to create a network of wealthy foundations, many of which are intended to aid former Communist countries in creating the kind of anti-Marxist "open society" advocated by Popper. By the 2010s, however, nationalist governments in power in Russia, Hungary, and other Eastern European nations increasingly denounced Soros's prodemocracy and human-rights efforts as subversive. Other Soros foundations fund health initiatives and aid immigrants in the United States. He also established (1991) the Central European Univ., based in Budapest. In the United States, he has funded political campaigns, most notably by organizations opposed to President George W. Bush. Soros has written several books, including Opening the Soviet System (1990; rev. ed. 1991), The Alchemy of Finance (1994), The Crisis of Global Capitalism (1998), Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism (2000), and The Bubble of American Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power (2003).

See his autobiography Soros on Soros (with B. Wien and K. Koenen, 1995); biographies by R. Slater (1995) and M. T. Kaufman (2002).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

George Soros: Selected full-text books and articles

The World According to George Soros By Korten, David C Tikkun, Vol. 16, No. 2, March/April 2001
A Dialog with George Soros By Soros, George; Kaletsky, Anatole Business Economics, Vol. 48, No. 2, April 2013
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
John Arlidge Sits Down with Billionaire-Provocateur George Soros By Arlidge, John Newsweek, Vol. 159, No. 05, January 30, 2012
The Imperfect World of George Soros By Freeland, Chrystia Foreign Policy, No. 197, December 2012
Entrepreneurial Economics By Keith Glancey; Ronald W. McQuaid; Jo Campling Macmillan Company, 2000
Librarian's tip: "Arbitrage and Entrepreneurship: George Soros" p. 64
The Market or the Public Domain? Global Governance and the Asymmetry of Power By Daniel Drache Routledge, 2001
Librarian's tip: "Philanthropy Turned Crusade? The Case of the Soros Foundations" begins on p. 137
The Destruction of the Soviet Economic System: An Insiders' History By Michael Ellman; Vladimir Kontorovich M. E. Sharpe, 1998
Librarian's tip: "The Soros Initiative" begins on p. 238
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