Who is George Soros? The Man Behind the Money!
Today in The Telegraph, Nick Timothy, Theresa May’s former Chief of Staff reported that George Soros has contributed £400,000 to a group called ‘Better for Britain’, a group committed to reversing Brexit. But who exactly is George Soros?
He’s a serious billionaire
As the founder of Soros Fund Management, he is one of the world’s wealthiest people. He started the fund management in 1969 and today Forbes Magazine listed Soros as the 19th richest person in the world, the world’s richest hedge-fund manager, and 19th on its list of the 400 wealthiest Americans with a net worth estimated at $25.2 billion.
He grew up in Nazi-occupied Hungary
Born in 1930 to an upper-middle-class family in Budapest, he was 13 years-old when the Nazi’s occupied Hungary. Soros’ father was a lawyer. During the Nazi occupation he bought his family forged papers and bribed an official who then claimed Soros was his Christian godson. Soros survived the occupation and moved to England in 1947 to become a student at the London School of Economics. During his time at university, Soros worked as a railway porter and as a waiter. He earned a Bachelor of Science in philosophy in 1951, and a Master of Science in philosophy in 1954, both from the London School of Economics.
He’s a big philanthropist
Soros established the Open Society Foundation in 1993. The Group is an international grant-making network and has dedicated itself to civil society groups around the world. It has the second largest private philanthropy budget in the world, behind the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Since its founding in 1993, OSF has reported expenditures of over $11 billion. The group’s name is inspired by Karl Popper’s 1945 book The Open Society and Its Enemies. The OSF has branches in 37 countries, encompassing a group of country and regional foundations, such as the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa; its headquarters are in New York. However, the group has faced some criticism for its persistent activism and forming “societies without identity.”
He’s V political
Soros has been actively involved in the political scene across Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. He’s been a long-term donor to the Democratic Party. He donated to President Obama but also in June 2015, he donated $1 million to the Super PAC Priorities USA Action, which supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. He faced some criticism throughout the Bush Administration for saying it was his “life goal” to remove the President from office. Since then, he’s been committed to opening up the former communist economies of Europe and aiding failing economies throughout financial crises. However, he’s also been accused of using this money to influence the outcomes in countries like Macedonia. In January 2017, the “Stop Operation Soros” (SOS) initiative was launched in Macedonia. SOS seeks to present “questions and answers about the way Soros operates worldwide” and invites citizens to contribute to the research.
The Man Who Broke the Bank of England
On Black Wednesday in 1992, Soros shorted the British pound and reportedly made a profit of $1 billion. As the British Government had joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, the British Pound became significantly overvalued, it couldn’t compete with the higher German deutche mark. Soros bet that politicians and the central banks could not much longer maintain artificially high exchange rates in the interests of European unity and would therefore have to raise interest rates. His bet succeeded, much to the embarrassment of the British Prime Minister John Major and Soros became forever known as the ‘man who broke the bank of England’.
In 2016 it was revealed that Soros used a controversial Panamanian law firm to establish a web of offshore investment partnerships that operate around the world and out of the scrutiny of US regulators. As a crucial sponsor of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, who discovered the Panama Papers, his involvement was seen a controversial. The ICIJ’s leader at the time, journalist Gerard Ryle, said he had not noticed Soros’ companies in the Offshore Leaks database until it had been drawn to his attention after the release of the papers.