'I'm Having A Good Crisis': Will Soros Be Attacked For HIS Profits?

March 26th, 2009 10:56 AM

For over six months, bankers, traders, financial institution employees, and anybody in any way associated with Wall Street have been eviscerated by the media as greedy, lying crooks.

Considering this, and how shortly after his inauguration, President Barack Obama said this isn't the time for people to be worried about profits, one has to wonder what kind of reaction the left and their media minions will have towards George Soros's declaration that he's "having a very good crisis."

The following shocking revelation was reported Wednesday by Britain's Daily Mail in an article astoundingly titled "'I'm Having a Very Good Crisis,' says Soros as Hedge Fund Managers Make Billions Off Recession":

George Soros, who predicted the global financial crisis twice before, was one of the few people to anticipate and prepare for the current economic collapse.

Mr Soros said his prediction meant he was better able to brace his Quantum investment fund against the gloabal [sic] storm.

In reality, this was first reported by The Australian on March 19:

George Soros is having a very good crisis. Other investors are wilting, political power structures are being upended and market economists are scrambling to fashion new theories, but the world's most famous speculator is having a belated heyday.

"It is, in a way, the culminating point of my life’s work," the 78-year-old says in his heavy Hungarian accent during an interview at his London mansion. [...]

At 68 Soros had just predicted a global financial collapse which did not happen, just as he had done a decade earlier; his pet theory of market behaviour, which he calls "reflexivity", had been largely ignored; and his political donations had bought him little sway in Washington. Yet today, he says, all those strands seem to have come together – "the American election, the financial crisis, the theory of reflexivity, so it is actually a very stimulating period".

Those interested can listen to the entire interview the Australian did with Soros here.

With that as pretext, shouldn't Soros be the subject of great scorn by a Wall Street-hating press?

After all, making money is now a bad thing, isn't it -- especially while others are suffering so?

Now, this guy claims he's making millions if not billions off of this crisis, and he gets a pass?

Is it because he almost exclusively contributes to Democrats and liberal causes -- like MoveOn.org -- as well as Barack Obama?

And what of the good folks in the Netroots who so revile Wall Street, greed, and capitalism? Is it okay with them that he supposedly made all this money while others suffered?

Now, I say "supposedly" because Soros's recent comments about "having a very good crisis" go counter to what he wrote as an inset to a Financial Times column on January 28. See if you can spot some glaring contradictions (emphasis added):


Positions I took were too big for ever more volatile markets

Although I positioned myself reasonably well for what was coming last year, one thing I got wrong cost me dearly: there was no decoupling between markets of the developed and developing worlds.

Indian and Chinese stocks were hit even harder than those in the US and Europe. Since we did not reduce our exposure, we lost more money in India than we had made the year before. Our Chinese manager did better by his stock selection; we were also helped by the appreciation of the renminbi.

I had to push very hard in my macro-account to offset both these losses and those incurred by our external managers. This had its own drawback: I overtraded. The positions I took were too large for the increasingly volatile markets and, in order to manage my risk, I could not go against the market in a big way. I had to try to catch minor moves.

That made it difficult to maintain short positions. Although I am an experienced short-seller, I got caught several times and largely missed the biggest down-draught, in October and November.

On the long side, where I stuck to my guns, I lost an enormous amount of money. I was impressed by the potential in the new deep-water oilfield in Brazil and bought a large strategic position in Petrobras, only to see it decline by 75 per cent at one point in time. We also got caught in the developing petrochemical industry in the Gulf.

We did get out of our strategic long position in CVRD, the Brazilian iron ore producer, in time for the end of the commodity bubble and shorted the other big iron ore groups. But we missed an opportunity in the commodities themselves – partly because I knew from experience how difficult it is to trade them.

I was also slow to recognise the reversal of fortune for the dollar and gave back a large portion of our profits. Under the direction of my new chief investment officer, we did make money in the UK, where we bet that short-term interest rates would decline and shorted sterling against the euro. We also made good money by going long on the credit markets after their collapse.

Eventually I understood that the strength of the dollar was due not to people choosing to hold dollars but to their inability to maintain or roll over their dollar obligations. In a very real sense the strength of the dollar, like the fever associated with sickness, was a measure of the disruption of the financial system. This insight helped me to anticipate the downturn of the dollar at the end of 2008. As a result, we ended the year almost meeting my target of 10 per cent minimum return, after spending most of the year in the red.

Interesting. First he claimed, "I positioned myself reasonably well for what was coming last year." Yet, in the conclusion he wrote "we ended the year almost meeting my target of 10 per cent minimum return, after spending most of the year in the red."

Doesn't sound to me like he positioned himself well for what was coming last year if he was down until the dollar collapsed at the end of November.

In fact, as his 3rd quarter and 4th quarter 13F filings reveal, his equity holdings did VERY poorly. 

This was also VERY telling:

That made it difficult to maintain short positions. Although I am an experienced short-seller, I got caught several times and largely missed the biggest down-draught, in October and November.

So, he wasn't even SHORT when the market collapsed last year?!? 

And, something he neglected to tell his readers was how he took a HUGE position in Lehman Brothers months before it went bankrupt.

Add it all up, and Soros didn't accurately position his investments at all for his bearish, gloom and doom predictions, for the bulk of his profits came WELL AFTER the collapse began and was achieved via a short position in the U.S. dollar which sold off at the end of November more than two months after the crisis started.

As such, not only was he long stocks during one of the biggest crashes in American history -- as opposed to being short as the top traders and hedge funds in the world were!!! -- but he also missed last year's HUGE commodities rally.

Granted, if he did indeed finish the year with almost a ten percent gain as he stated, that's a fine performance in such a down year.

However, for someone who claimed to be "positioned reasonably well" for what was coming, given the extraordinary rally and eventual collapse in commodities, and the crash in stocks, he should have done FAR better than up almost ten percent, and shouldn't have needed a position taken at the end of the year to get him back in the black.

That all said, I can't wait to see how the various shills in the blogosphere who are funded by this America-hater are going to support his profiteering while so many are suffering, and am anxious for the personal attacks on me for having the gall to question their benefactor.