George Soros dies.... George Soros did not die on April 18th 2013 at age 82. This is probably the most bizarre first sentence I ever wrote! Reuters put out a story less than an hour ago that George Soros died XXX at the age of XXX. The story which was published due to some inadvertent mistake, was 1140 words and only the age of his death was left out. Soros is still alive and kicking according to everyone (including Reuters) to the agitation of some of his vocal opponents. Reuters has pulled the story but we have a nice screenshot of the article.
Publications make mistakes all the time, a recent example is CNN reporting the arrest of a suspect in the Boston marathon bombing; the information turned out to be false. Furthermore, many publications publish articles in advance and wait to fill in details. This is done frequently in the financial news industry, especially with earnings and economic data reports. Recently the FT had a 2,500 word obituary about Margaret Thatcher only minutes after she passed away.
Below is a full preview of George Soros' obituary from Reuters:
George Soros, enigmatic financier, liberal philanthropist dies at XX
By Todd Eastham
WASHINGTON, XXX | Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:41pm EDT
(Reuters) – George Soros, who died XXX at age XXX, was a predatory and hugely successful financier and investor, who argued paradoxically for years against the same sort of free-wheeling capitalism that made him billions.
He was known as “the man who broke the Bank of England” for selling short the British pound in 1992 and helping force the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, which devalued the pound and earned Soros more than $1 billion.
And his Soros Fund Management was widely blamed for helping trigger the Asian financial crisis of 1997, by selling short the Thai baht and Malaysian ringgit.
“Subsequently, Prime Minister Mahatir of Malaysia accused me of causing the crisis, a wholly unfounded accusation,” Soros wrote in The Crisis of Global Capitalism: Open Society Endangered,” in 1998.
“We were not sellers of the currency during or several months before the crisis; on the contrary … we were purchasing ringgits to realize profits on our earlier speculation.”
Still, economist Paul Krugman, was one of many observers who accused Soros of helping trigger the crisis.
In 1999, Krugman wrote that “nobody 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 fund and profit.”
Still, Soros has written extensively on the folly of what he has called free market “fundamentalism,” the belief of many conservative economists that markets will correct themselves with no need for government intervention.
In Soros’ view, markets and investors are subject to “mood” swings, or a prevailing positive or negative bias which can be exploited by savvy investors but which inevitably lead to damaging market bubbles and boom/bust cycles.
An enigma, wrapped in intellect, contradiction and money.
A Jew born in Hungary as the Nazis were gaining power in Germany, Soros survived World War Two and then emigrated to Great Britain, where he earned a degree from the London School of Economics in 1952, and landed his first job in the financial industry largely through pure stubborn chutzpah.
OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE
While at the London School, Soros studied under the economist and philosopher Karl Popper and a main vehicle for his philanthropy, the Open Society Institute, is named for Popper’s two-volume work, “The Open Society and Its Enemies.”
In that work, Popper develops the philosophy of reflexivity, a theory first articulated by William Thomas in the 1920s that posits that individual biases enter into market transactions, coloring the perception of economic fundamentals. Soros has attributed his own financial success in part to his understanding of the reflexive effect.
Key to understanding that effect is recognizing when markets are in a condition of near-equilibrium, or in disequilibrium. Soros has observed that when markets are rising or falling rapidly, they are typically marked by rising disequilibrium, and the dispassionate investor can capitalize on that recognition.
While Soros has benefited enormously from this understanding (Forbes put his wealth in 2013 at $19 billion, making him the world’s 30th richest person, not counting the roughly $8 billion he has given away through various charitable entities he controls), he has argued nevertheless for strong central government regulation to correct for and counterbalance the excesses of greed, fear and the free market.
Popper’s idea of fallibilism, which posits that anything one believes may in fact be wrong, is another key principle that has guided Soros in his career, and his philanthropy.
Soros’ philanthropy since the 1970s, when he began funding the studies of black students at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, has been marked as much by his personal journey as by the needs of the communities he has set out to serve.
His efforts through the Open Society Institute and the Soros Foundations have been