Philosophical Speculator

Money Few of his friends and associates thought so. If he made another billion dollars, suggested his close friend Byron Wien, that wouldn't make him happy. Making the ffrst billion didn't make him all that happy. Well, it must have brought him some joy. But not much. George Soros was far too complex. He had more than just that one dimension. No matter how much money flowed into his bank account, he would never be satisfied as simply a man of leisure. In that sense, he was like many other...

Quantum Leap

By 1975 George Soros was beginning to be noticed within the Wall Street community. More precisely, his talent for making money was attracting attention. Few had any doubts that he was destined for greatness. As Allan Raphael, who worked with Soros in the 1980s, noted He worked hard. He saw things. He was aggressive. He just excelled at his profession. This is a business that doesn't necessarily lend itself to logical, rational thinking. It's an intuitive process. It's a business where the sum...

No gray areas None what and you could become rich

A stock either went up, it went down, or it stayed the same. Any theory about how the stock market operated could be tested on a day-to-day basis. Many investors believed the financial world to be rational, convinced that stock prices had a built-in logic. Discern that logic, and you could become rich. Soros would have none of that. He thought the financial world was unstable, chaotic. Soros thought Discern the chaos, and you could become rich. Trying to fathom the financial markets, as...

Thursday September 171992

Britain's interest rate is back to 10 percent. Italy follows Britain and withdraws its currency from the ERM. The pound tumbles immediately to 2.70 marks, then stabilizes at 2.65 marks, 5 percent below its previous floor level. It will eventually settle 16 percent below where it stood on Black Wednesday. Britain is not alone in devaluing its currency. Spain's currency is devalued by 28 percent Italy's by 22 percent. With the news that Britain has withdrawn from the ERM, the pound is being...

Common Virus Known as Hubris

Beatings, remained with her husband-in this case, the ERM. I do not expect the present arrangement to be operative Monday morning. He declared that he now felt free to resume trading in the French franc. Confusion reigned within the financial community over what George Soros was doing-and what he was trying to communicate. As European ministers frantically tried to rescue the ERM in Brussels, Soros remained aloof, seeking to give the distinct impression that he was above the fray, indifferent...

Killing of a Lifetime

George Soros stepped up his role in the fund during late 1984. As much as he might have wanted to pass the baton on to others at the Quantum Fund, he was not yet ready to step down entirely. He still believed a storm threatened the world's economies. He could not guess its nature or when it would begin. But he wanted to be there when it happened, to ride its rough waves, to exploit it, perhaps. Meanwhile, he paid careful attention to the fund, spending more time in the office, trying to make...

The Worlds Greatest Investor

Settled back in his high, leather chair behind an oval desk, George Soros gazed out the large windows to the left, taking in the breathtaking view of Central Park and the rush-hour activity some thirty-three floors below. He was thrilled to be once again part of The Game. Lately, when he entered the Soros Fund Management office in mid-town Manhattan, Soros had begun to feel more like a visitor than the boss. But today he belonged. Today he could climb a mountain. Or break the bank. He was...

The Indentity Crisis

By the late 1970s, with the Soros Fund doing magnificently, George Soros seemed to be riding high. By all logic, he should have been able to relax and achieve a certain balance in his life. He could not. While his own parents had doted on him and his brother, he, in contrast, could not do the same with his wife and children. Totally wrapped up in his work, he had little time for his wife, even less for his children. In 1977, his marriage began to fall apart. According to Soros, I identified...

The Imperial Circle

After Ronald Reagan assumed the presidency in January 1981, Soros was fascinated to see the new conservative-leaning president embarking on a campaign to beef up America's defenses-without raising taxes-as part of a renewed effort to get tough with the Soviets. How would the new Reagan policies affect the American economy Could this be the start of another boom bust sequence Yes, Soros believed, it certainly could be. The television commentator Adam Smith asked Soros to explain when he knew...