George Soros is Chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC and the Open Society Foundations. (February 2016)

Europe: A Better Plan for Refugees

Migrants wait in line for food in a makeshift camp at the Greek-Macedonian border, March 31, 2016

A humanitarian catastrophe is in the making in Greece. The asylum seekers are desperate. Most of the building blocks for an effective asylum system in Europe are available. It is Europe’s political capacity that is lacking, at least at the moment—its ability to make effective unified decisions about such an urgent matter.

Ukraine on the Edge

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, left, with Belarusian President Alexander ­Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Minsk, February 2015
At the beginning of 2015 Ukraine faced a plethora of obstacles and enemies, first and foremost Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was determined to destabilize the country and use the might of the Russian army to crush it. He violated Russian law by using conscripts outside the borders of the …

Ukraine & Europe: What Should Be Done?

Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel during peace talks over eastern Ukraine, Minsk, Belarus, February 2015
Because of the structural defects of the euro, the European authorities have had to become masters of the art of muddling through one crisis after another. This practice is popularly known as kicking the can down the road although it would be more accurate to describe it as kicking the can uphill so that it keeps coming back.

A Partnership with China to Avoid World War

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing, November 2014
The future course of history will greatly depend on how China tackles its economic transition from investment and export-led growth to greater dependence on domestic demand, and how the US reacts to it. A strategic partnership between the US and China could prevent the evolution of two power blocks that may be drawn into military conflict.

A New Policy to Rescue Ukraine

Masha, a hairdresser from Luhansk who joined the pro-Ukrainian Donbas Battalion last spring, at a training camp near Dnipropetrovsk, held in an old summer camp still decorated with Soviet-era Young Pioneers, July 2014; photograph by Justyna Mielnikiewicz from her series ‘A Ukraine Runs Through It,’ which has just been awarded the Aftermath Project’s 2015 grant for photographic work documenting the aftermath of conflict. It will appear in
War Is Only Half the Story, Volume 9, to be published by the Aftermath Project next year.
If the international authorities fail to come up with an impressive assistance program in response to an aggressive Ukrainian reform program, the new Ukraine will probably fail, Europe will be left on its own to defend itself against Russian aggression, and Europe will have abandoned the values and principles on which the European Union was founded. That would be an irreparable loss.

Wake Up, Europe

Europe is facing a challenge from Russia to its very existence. Neither the European leaders nor their citizens are fully aware of this challenge or know how best to deal with it.

The Future of Europe: An Interview with George Soros

Supporters of the Russian annexation of Crimea at a rally in Red Square, Moscow, March 18, 2014
The oligarchs who control much of the Russian economy don’t have any confidence in the regime. They send their children and money abroad. That is what makes the economy so weak. Even with oil over $100 a barrel, which is the minimum Russia needs to balance its budget, it is not growing. Putin turned aggressive out of weakness. He is acting in self-defense. He has no scruples, he can be ruthless, but he is a judo expert, not a sadist—so the economic weakness and the aggressive behavior are entirely self-consistent.

The Tragedy of the European Union and How to Resolve It

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande during their first meeting after his election, Berlin, May 15, 2012
If and when the euro eventually breaks up it will destroy the common market and the European Union. Europe will be worse off than it was when the effort to unite it began, because the breakup will leave a legacy of mutual mistrust and hostility. The later it happens, the worse the ultimate outcome. That is such a dismal prospect that it is time to consider alternatives that would have been inconceivable until recently. In my judgment the best course of action is to persuade Germany to choose between becoming a more benevolent hegemon, or leading nation, or leaving the euro. In other words, Germany must lead or leave.

Greece and the Rest of Us: A Discussion

Edmund Phelps

Following the election of a pro-bailout party in Greece on June 17, the new Greek government being formed this week will try once more to negotiate a solution to its intractable debt crisis that will keep it in the eurozone. But how did Greece get into this situation in the first place? Are other countries at risk of falling into the same predicament? In a panel discussion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art earlier this year sponsored by the Review and Fritt Ord, these and other questions were explored by Paul Krugman, Edmund Phelps, Jeffrey Sachs, and George Soros. —The Editors

How to Save the Euro

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Berlin, January 11, 2012
My new book, Financial Turmoil in Europe and the United States, tries to explain and, to the extent possible, predict the outcome of the euro crisis. It follows the same pattern as my other books: it contains an updated version of my conceptual approach and the application of that approach to a particular situation, and it presents a real-time experiment to test the validity of my interpretation. Its account is not complete because the crisis is still ongoing.

Does the Euro Have a Future?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, Berlin, September 1, 2011
The path that leads to a solution to the euro crisis has to be found in Germany, which, as the EU’s largest and highest-rated creditor country, has been thrust into the position of deciding the future of Europe. To resolve a crisis in which the impossible becomes possible it is necessary to think about the unthinkable. To start with, it is imperative to prepare for the possibility of default and defection from the eurozone in the case of Greece, Portugal, and perhaps Ireland. To prevent a financial meltdown, four sets of measures would have to be taken.

My Philanthropy

George Soros in Hungary, 1946; from his father Tivadar Soros’s memoir Masquerade, which has just been reissued by Arcade
The formative experience of my life was the German occupation of Hungary in 1944. I was Jewish and not yet fourteen years old. I could have easily perished in the Holocaust or suffered lasting psychological damage had it not been for my father, who understood the dangers and coped with …

The Real Danger to the Economy

The US economy badly needs investments that enhance productivity but the private sector is unwilling or unable to provide them. In these circumstances there is a strong case for government intervention. Admittedly, consumption cannot be sustained indefinitely by running up the national debt. But to cut back on government spending at a time of large-scale unemployment would ignore all the lessons learned from the Great Depression.

The Crisis & the Euro

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou at an EU summit in Brussels, June 17, 2010
The situation is eerily reminiscent of the 1930s. Doubts about sovereign credit are forcing reductions in budget deficits at a time when the banking system and the economy may not be strong enough to do without fiscal and monetary stimulus. Keynes taught us that budget deficits are essential for countercyclical policies in times of deflation, yet governments everywhere feel compelled to reduce them under pressure from the financial markets.

The Crisis and How to Deal with It

Paul Krugman and Niall Ferguson at the symposium; in the background are Nouriel Roubini and Jeff Madrick
Following are excerpts from a symposium on the economic crisis presented by The New York Review of Books and PEN World Voices at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on April 30. The participants were former senator Bill Bradley, Niall Ferguson, Paul Krugman, Nouriel Roubini, George Soros, and Robin Wells, with Jeff Madrick as moderator.

The Crisis & What to Do About It

The salient feature of the current financial crisis is that it was not caused by some external shock like OPEC raising the price of oil or a particular country or financial institution defaulting. The crisis was generated by the financial system itself.

The Perilous Price of Oil

The following is adapted from testimony given by George Soros before the US Senate Commerce Committee Oversight Hearing on June 3, 2008. In January 2007, the price of oil was less than $60 per barrel. By the spring of 2008, the price had crossed $100 for the first time, and …

The Financial Crisis: An Interview with George Soros

Judy Woodruff: You write in your new book, The New Paradigm for Financial Markets,[^1] that “we are in the midst of a financial crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Great Depression.” Was this crisis avoidable? George Soros: I think it was, but it would have required …

On Israel, America and AIPAC

The Bush administration is once again in the process of committing a major policy blunder in the Middle East, one that is liable to have disastrous consequences and is not receiving the attention it should. This time it concerns the Israeli–Palestinian relationship. The Bush administration is actively supporting the Israeli …

Who Lost Russia?

The collapse of the Soviet empire in 1989 and the Soviet Union in 1991 offered a historic opportunity to transform that part of the world into open societies; but the Western democracies failed to rise to the occasion and the entire world has to suffer the consequences. The Soviet Union …

The International Crisis: An Interview

In July of 1997, the currency of Thailand, the baht, fell precipitously in value when the government abolished the link it had long maintained to the US dollar. The fall in the value of currency spread to other nations in Asia, including Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea, …

Bosnia and Beyond

The world doesn’t seem to appreciate what is at stake in Bosnia. We are aware of the human suffering, we are outraged at the atrocities, we are humiliated by the inability of both the United Nations and the European Community to prevent violence. But we do not quite understand the …

The Gorbachev Prospect

I became closely involved in the Soviet Union early in 1987 after Gorbachev summoned Sakharov to return to Moscow to “resume his patriotic work.” After extensive negotiations with Soviet officials, I set up a foundation called “Cultural Initiative” for the expressed purpose of helping the Soviet Union to evolve into …

A Global New Deal

Since the Second World War, America has been the undisputed leader of the world economy. In military power, we had to share the first place with the Soviet Union because of our mutual ability to destroy each other; but in economic matters our hegemony was complete. The international trading and …