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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 30, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 53
Pot, meet kettle: George Soros denounces Donald Trump
Section One
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Pot, meet kettle: George Soros denounces Donald Trump

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Billionaire Democratic Party supporter George Soros has denounced Donald Trump as a threat to democracy in a December 28 article on the Project Syndicate website.

'Democracy is now in crisis,' Soros writes.

'Even the US, the world's leading democracy, elected a con artist and would-be dictator as its president. Although Trump has toned down his rhetoric since he was elected, he has changed neither his behavior nor his advisers. His cabinet comprises incompetent extremists and retired generals. What lies ahead?'

While affirming his faith that 'democracy will prove resilient in the US,' Soros worries that under Trump 'the US will be unable to protect and promote democracy in the rest of the world. On the contrary, Trump will have greater affinity with dictators.'

Soros is a well-known backer of the Democratic Party and liberal causes in general. According to Inside Philanthropy magazine, he donated more than $11 billion to various causes between 1979 and 2011.

Among the recipients of Soros's largesse are MoveOn.org, Media Matters for America, the Ella Baker Center, Green For All, the Center for American Progress, the Apollo Alliance, and the Climate Policy Initiative.

No wonder that the conservative publication Human Events named him 'the most destructive leftist demagogue in the country' in 2011.

However, Soros himself doesn't have clean hands when it comes to the source of his billions. As CEO of Soros Fund Management, he has often been accused of currency manipulation and insider trading.

In 1992, for example, Soros triggered the 'Black Wednesday' currency crisis in Britain by short-selling $10 billion worth of British currency. The pound collapsed, forcing Britain to withdraw from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, a precursor of the Eurozone. Soros made $1 billion in profits; British investors lost $3 billion.

Again in 1997, Soros short-sold Thai currency, causing the Thai government to devalue its money, thus setting off a financial chain reaction that threatened the economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand.

Ultimately the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had to step in with a multibillion-dollar rescue package, but it would take the Thai economy until 2001 to recover.

Commenting on currency crises, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman suggested that international currency manipulators should be named after Soros.

'[N]obody who has read a business magazine in the last few years can be unaware that these days there really are investors who not only move money in anticipation of a currency crisis but actually do their best to trigger that crisis for fun and profit,' Krugman wrote in 1999. 'These new actors on the scene do not yet have a standard name; my proposed term is 'Soroi.'

In 2005, Soros was convicted by a French court of insider trading because of a deal in which he bought up undervalued shares in newly privatized French companies. He was fined the equivalent of $900,000.

Soros then appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, but his claim was rejected. In October 2011 the court ruled that Soros had been well aware of the risk of breaking insider trading laws.

Some observers have suggested that the Democratic Party met electoral defeat exactly because of its ties to Wall Street insiders like Soros.

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