Tim Blair


New Criterion



Wednesday, April 14, 2004

There was a time George Soros was a capitalist who won billions by rorting currency markets, getting rich by driving poor countries deeper into poverty and despair.

Then he discovered the evils of the markets that had made him rich, and suddenly Auntie loved him. Even the pre-schoolers forgave him his sins and let him ride their merry-go-round.

The thing that makes George different is that wealth is not his objective. He's interested in making as much money as he can in order to win the game. It is the intellectual excitement of the challenge that appeals to him. But once he has the money, he uses the money in constructive ways: he gives away about $300-million a year, good years and bad years, and I don't think any individual has ever given a similar amount away.


The trouble with playing with the pre-schoolers is this: how do you know when to get off?

George has been gazumped by Bill Gates who has given away more, and doesn't bother with the politics.

Poor old George, he can't join the war on the Islamist terrorists because they're anti-markets too. So he has to join the left in jihad against the Great Satan, George W Bush.

"America under Bush is a danger to the world."

Mr Soros is handing over $8-million to, a left-wing group also opposed to the policies of President Bush, and which has begun a television advertising campaign to press its case.

Bush is a much easier target for money-fuelled hate than, say, Sammy bin Laden.

George's excuse is that he wants to be rich and loved. If you can't buy love then what good is money, as the Beatles might have said?

Not that Soros has given up speculating, and using his political platform to spruik his book. In the middle of last year he thought the US Fed's policy a

a wrong-headed attempt to boost the US economy at the rest of the world's expense.

By that he meant he was shorting the US dollar. Bad move, George.

Better to stick to politics. So much more predictable.

What excuse will the Democrats find for their hatred of their country's cause in Iraq? (registration required)

And what about Auntie, who is giving Soros a large op-ed opportunity this weekend?