George Soros has been a prominent international supporter of democratic ideals and causes for more than 30 years. His philanthropic organisation, the Open Society Foundations, supports democracy and human rights in over 70 countries. He is currently the Chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC. As one of history’s most successful financiers, his views on investing and economic issues are widely followed.
George came of age in Hungary at a time when it was a battleground in the decades-long conflict between fascism and communism, the two great totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century. A personal experience of this conflict as well as a personal fascination with philosophy shaped Soros’s thinking in later years and influenced his successful strategies in both finance and philanthropy.
Whilst working as a financial analyst for Wertheim & Co and trader for F. M Mayer in New York (1959-63), George adapted the philosopher Karl Popper’s thinking in developing his own application of the social theory of “reflexivity” to investing, using it to predict, among other things, the emergence of financial bubbles. In 1963-73, he was vice-president at Arnhold and S. Bliechroeder. In 1967, he helped establish an offshore investment fund. In 1973, he set up a private investment firm that eventually evolved into the Quantum Fund, one of the first hedge funds. In 1970, George founded Soros Fund Management and became its Chairman, a position he still holds.
His philanthropic activities include creating an education and culture foundation in Hungary in 1984, establishing the Central European University in 1991, and in 1993, he founded the Open Society Foundations. Over the past three decades, the Open Society Foundations has grown to promote the development of open societies in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. To date, Soros has given over $8 billion to support human rights, freedom of expression, and access to public health and education in more than 100 countries.
He has published many books of which the most recent is Financial Turmoil in Europe and the United States: Essays (2012). His other books include The Soros Lectures: At the Central European University (2010); The Crash of 2008 and What it Means: The New Paradigm for Finance Markets (2009); The Age of Fallibility: Consequences of The War on Terror (2006) and others. His essays on politics, society, and economics appear frequently in major periodicals around the world.
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