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George Soros, the iconic billionaire is concerned that the world will soon experience another financial crisis. Soros, while speaking in Paris on Tuesday, says that factors including the disruption of the deal with Iran, increased negative feelings toward the European Union, a soaring dollar, and divestment in emerging markets have combined to potentially create negative effects in the global economy.
Soros said through previously prepared remarks that many things have gone wrong with the European Union and the rise of populism on the continent has become a serious issue.
Soros expanded on these thoughts by saying that strict policies have served to instigate the euro crisis. Soros also explained that the resulting anti-European movements that resulted from these policies share some responsibility for the Brexit crisis as well as the political turmoil that has recently taken place in Italy.
Soros went on to say that young people have grown disillusioned with the European Union and blames the entity for depriving them of jobs and promises of the future. Populists politicians, according to Soros, have effectively exploited these resentments to further their own parties and movements.
Soros pointed to the growing disagreement between the United States and Europe regarding relations with Iran as another major concern that could have negative implications on the global economy.
Soros said that the decision by United States President Donald Trump to no longer honor a previously signed nuclear arms treaty with the Iranian government has in effect destroyed the transatlantic alliance. Soros added that Trump has succeeded in shocking the entire world with his actions.
Soros feels that the end of the deal will directly result in problems for the European economy and other locations just as a strengthening dollar is causing investors to abandon emerging market currencies.
Despite the warnings, Soros did express some optimism that financial turmoil can be avoided.
One measure Soros suggests is a new Marshall Plan, funded by money that can be borrowed by the European Union, that would properly address the problem of refugees in Africa. The original Marshall Plan was enacted by the United States in an effort to rebuild Europe in the wake of World War II.
Soros expressed that there would be difficulty in getting the many countries in the EU to stand in accord on the matter but said that reality may dictate that personal interests be set aside to preserve the union.
An investment firm that belongs to George SorosGeor purchased $35 million worth of convertible notes that can be converted to stock in Tesla when the bond is due in March of next year. The financial backing by Soros Fund Management was desperately needed by the electric car maker that has faced a series of rough incidents during the first part of the year.
The company has experienced setbacks in the production of its mass-market Model 3 and has been forced to reassign members involved with the upper management of the company. CEO Elon Musk also caused a few raised eyebrows with the dismissive tone he used in response to questions posed to him during an earnings call.
Tesla has relied on debt markets in recent history to raise the money it needs and many financial experts feel it will have to do so again despite the investment made by the Soros firm. A year ago, Tesla was able to raise $1.8 million through the sale of high-yielding “junk” bonds.
So far this year, traders have bet against the bonds offered by Tesla and the cost of shares is down 9%.
Soros Fund Management has also purchased more than 50,000 shares of Amazon stock valued at $74.1 million during the first quarter of 2018. This after the firm discarded all Amazon holdings during the last quarter of 2017.
Amazon has performed well so far this year and is up 34% year-to-date.
Netflix was also a high priority on the target list of the Soros fund. Following up on larger purchases of the stock in 2017, the fund thus far in 2018 has purchased 148,500 additional shares in the company. Netflix has also exceeded market expectations with the number of new customers added to company subscribers lists for the first quarter of the year.
The Soros Fund also filled its bag with a purchase of nearly 21,000 shares of Alphabet.
A transaction taking place on the opposite side of the equation was the dumping of 34,100 shares the company held in Twitter. The fund also did not re-up on stock in Facebook after divesting totally of the social media giant during the last quarter of 2017.