The man who has funded major political movements around the world is in the news. The organization he funds – the Open Society Foundation. The man – George Soros.
While democrats criticize Donald Trump‘s supposed ties with Russian president Vladimir Putin and Russian influence on the election, republicans are taking aim at Soros, who they say has been behind many of the anti-Trump protests as of late. A tax-day march with the goal being the release of Trump’s taxes is among them up to this day. On the Tax March’s website, it thanks eight groups responsible for organizing the protest.
The Tax March is grateful to have the support of the following organizations: American Federation of Teachers, Americans for Tax Fairness, Center for Popular Democracy, Indivisible Project, MoveOn.Org, Our Revolution, and The Working Families Party.
Six of those eight groups have either taken money from George Soros or have ties to him. Americans for Tax Fairness, for instance, is funded by a grant from Soros’ Open Society Foundation.
The OSF is also in hot water over their influence in European elections. In Soros’ home country of Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, recently spoke out against him. Orban, who is one of just a few European heads of state to oppose the mass influx of Syrian refugees, said “Large-bodied predators are swimming here in the waters. This is the trans-border empire of George Soros, with tons of money and international heavy artillery.”
Others claim that Soros has on net helped liberate people around the world, organizing movements to change policies and grant people better healthcare, better education, and a greater freedom of the press. Why is there such a stark contrast between republican and democratic views on Soros? Because he has a ton of money, and he only gives it to democrats.
Soros is to democrats what the Koch brothers are to republicans. As the left criticizes the Koch brothers, the right critisizes Soros. But who is George Soros? How did one man come to be one of the most powerful and influential people in the world, without the average citizenry knowing much about him? Now is the time to get to know a little more about him.
George Soros was born in 1930 in Budapest Hungary as Schwartz György to a well-off Jewish family. The family resented their Jewish roots, and Soros himself has said that he grew up in an anti-Semitic home. In 1936, the family changed their Jewish last name of Schwartz, to Soros, meaning “next in line” or “designated successor”. During the German occupation of Hungary in WWII, the family bought fake documents that “proved” they were Christians to escape deportation by Nazi soldiers.
Following WWII, in 1947, George moved to England to attend the London School of Economics. He studied under well known philosopher Karl Popper, and earned a master’s degree in philosophy. After graduating in 1951, Soros spent decades working for financial firms such as Singer and Friedlander, F.M. Mayer, Wertheim and Co, and Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder. In 1973, Soros founded Soros Fund Management, and appointed himself CEO.
In less than ten years, the main Soros operated fund, the Quantum Fund, grew from $12 million to over $400 million. In 2013, Quantum generated over $5 billion, and has made over $40 billion since it was created in 1973.
With billions of dollar at his disposal, Soros has a near unmatched power to influence entire markets. By buying or selling anything, be it stocks, or currencies, Soros can manipulate prices and reap the profits. One prime example of this was in 1992, after building a strong position with the Pound Sterling, Soros shorted the pound, forcing the British to devalue their currency. This one move, which happened on what is now known as Black Wednesday, saw the UK Treasury take a hit of over 3 billion pounds, and Soros himself, a nice profit of $1 billion.
Soros had not openly participated in much of U.S. politics until 2004, when he donated $23.5 million to various anti-Bush political action committees. In 2015, Soros again donated heavily to Hillary backing PACs, including “Ready for Hillary”, where in addition to donating $25,000 he co-chaired the finance committee.
In addition to donating directly to super PACs and campaigns, Soros also donates through OSF to groups such as the ACLU, Democracy Now!, Amnesty International, Moveon.org, Media Matters for America, National Organization for Women, the National Council of La Raza, Think Progress, and even Planned Parenthood. The list goes on and on.
Soros is a man who is on one hand an investing legend, and on another hand, someone who uses his money to influence public policy around the world. While some would like to think Russian hackers and fake news have a big impact on America’s elections, chances are that George Soros played a larger role.