Leader of Soros-Founded Think Tank: Rich Are Ready to Flee in Case of Uprising

Rich people are preparing to flee in case of social unrest, at least according to the head of one group founded and partly funded by George Soros.

Robert Johnson, the head of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), argued that many wealthy people feared an uprising because of “growing inequality.”

Liberal billionaire George Soros had given $50 million to The Institute for New Economic Thinking, and used that group in 2011 to host a conference that focused on “new multilateral system” of economics. According to an INET press release from 2012, Soros “agreed to augment his foundation support of INET” with an additional $50 million.

In 2011, INET hosted the second Bretton Woods conference. More than two-thirds of the speakers at that conference had direct ties to Soros. Soros has said that "the main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat." Before he was head of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Johnson was the Managing Director of Soros Fund Management.

According to the Mirror (UK) and the International Business Times, Johnson told attendees at the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that “hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway.” Neither news outlet reported any names of these skittish millionaires. The World Economic Forum website hasn’t posted video of this exchange, so it may not have been during one of the scheduled sessions.

The Mirror added that Johnson had said “the economic situation could soon become intolerable as even in the richest countries inequality was increasing” and “I think the rich are worried and they should be worried.”

The 2011 Bretton Woods conference brought together "more than 200 academic, business and government policy thought leaders' to repeat the famed 1944 Bretton Woods gathering that helped create the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Before he convened the second Bretton Woods, Soros said he wanted a new 'multilateral system," or an economic system where America wasn’t so dominant.

The Soros had been planning this conference for years. On Nov. 4, 2009, Soros wrote an op-ed calling for "a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order." He added that his goal was to bring about "a new Bretton Woods conference, like the one that established the post-WWII international financial architecture." Only a week before that op-ed was published, Soros helped found INET – the very group that hosted the second Bretton Woods conference less than two years later.

Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella is a research analyst for the MRC's News Analysis Division