George Soros | Charlie Rose | 2001 | Summary and Q&A

December 22, 2020
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George Soros | Charlie Rose | 2001

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This video features an interview with George Soros, a business leader and public intellectual, discussing his views on business, globalization, finance, politics, and the future of the world. He also reflects on his own experiences as an investor and philanthropist.

Questions & Answers

Q: How does George Soros see the current state of the American economy?

Soros believes that the American economy is experiencing a bear market, which is having a self-reinforcing effect on the economy. He does not believe that the country is heading towards a depression or a severe recession, as there are ample monetary and fiscal tools to fight the recession.

Q: Is George Soros still actively involved in buying and selling equities and debt?

While Soros is not directly active in buying and selling equities and debt, he has been more involved in recent years due to key members of his team leaving. He believes that taking positions and making bets in the market is important, but also recognizes the possibility of making mistakes and constantly seeks to correct them.

Q: Does George Soros feel more fallible in his judgment after acknowledging his mistakes in his previous book?

Soros has always recognized his fallibility and regularly acts accordingly. He believes that acknowledging his mistakes allows him to continuously look out for and correct them. While he made a mistake in predicting a serious calamity in his previous book, he does not regret writing it and views it as an opportunity for growth and learning.

Q: Is there a philosophy behind George Soros' approach to investing?

Soros believes that it is necessary to make serious bets when investing and to understand one's own past mistakes in order to be smart about future positions. He recognizes that acting selflessly and making serious commitments is not always easy, but it is important for success in the market.

Q: How does George Soros view financial markets and their stability?

Soros believes that financial markets are inherently unstable and that the concept of equilibrium, as applied to financial markets, is not helpful. He argues that financial markets are not about discounting the future, but about creating the future through the decisions made by market participants. He also criticizes the idea that markets will always right themselves without any intervention.

Q: Does George Soros believe that government should have a significant role in regulating markets?

Yes, Soros believes that government should play a significant role in regulating markets because markets left to their own devices can lead to occasional collapses. He argues that the regulatory environment helps prevent financial crises and supports the development of institutions that are adequate for global markets.

Q: What is George Soros' opinion on philanthropy and its impact?

Soros believes that philanthropy can make a significant impact in society. Through his foundations, he has supported initiatives that empower individuals to shape their own societies. He recognizes the challenges and pitfalls of philanthropy, as it goes against human nature, but believes that it is important to give back and support causes that align with one's own values.

Q: What are George Soros' views on the inheritance tax?

Soros believes that the inheritance tax (estate tax) is an important tool for creating a society characterized by equality of opportunity. He argues that leaving large amounts of wealth to future generations can lead to a self-perpetuating elite, which is not based on merit. He also acknowledges that some wealthy individuals give away money to avoid the estate tax, and he personally gives away whatever is allowed by law.

Q: How does George Soros view Putin and his leadership?

Soros has a negative view of Putin, seeing him as a functionary put in the top position by political forces. He believes that Putin reflects conflicted interests and does not have a strong personal identity. Soros is not optimistic about the future of Russia under Putin's leadership.

Q: How does George Soros view the situation in Israel?

Soros is distressed by the failure of the peace process in Israel and is worried about the direction it is heading. He believes that unless there is a significant change, Israel will go through a difficult period. Soros acknowledges that he has not been very engaged in Israel and believes that there are enough Jews who can take care of the country.

Q: Who would George Soros most like to meet, dead or alive?

Soros mentioned that he would have liked to meet John Maynard Keynes, an economist whose ideas greatly influenced Soros. Although he admires Keynes' economic philosophy, he acknowledges that he might not agree with every aspect of his existence.

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