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George Soros “Expect Civil Unrest”


jacobwolinsky
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Keep in mind that Soros was born in the 1930’s depression. He saw first-hand the impact on family, he saw that in Europe the depression only really ended with Germany re-arming, & he knows what it is to have to run - & have to leave almost everything behind.  He knows his topic; the audience – not so much.

 

All the kings horses, men & women believe that the crises can be ... managed .... with enough time & money. Wide-scale sub-prime collapse in the US, wholesale austerity contraction in Europe, repeated material bank bail-outs, multiple sovereign debt collapses, youth unemployment at 20-25%+, etc.  Market players need only minor reform, & what has happened far away (Arab Spring) could not possibly happen here. Back then the market players were Carnegie, Van De Bilt, Mellon, etc - & what happened far away ..... was an assassination in Serbia. Been there, done that, twice.

 

Repress high unemployment for an extended period & you get regime change. Often disruptive (Egypt, Libya, Syria), & the new really no different than the old. But when you rely on their exports (oil), & large portions of their population are guest &/or illegal workers in your country – those causes become your causes, & spread like wild fire if you have similar conditions. And European history has repeatedly shown that when disruption is wide spread, bad things happen. Post WWII we’ve had the UN, the IMF, & the Euro to hold the place together .... & all of them are evidencing signs of not being up to today’s demands. 

 

The US & Canada are not islands, but they are far enough away that most of the damage will be ‘over there’ versus ‘here’. As in WWII you may lose men, money, & materials in large numbers – but your productive capacity remains intact (it isn’t bombed every night). How you use that capacity changes dramatically, but the fact that you were able to adapt your use, is what pulls you out of the depression. Adaption to industrial & social disruption is what the US & Canada is very good at. 

 

With euro GNP contracting, unemployment/hopelessness can only worsen & the possibility of wide-spread & higher % Icelandic style debt repudiation can only increase. Iran closing the Strait of Homuz & sending oil to $150/barrel+ may be enough to tip it over the edge .... & finally make the crises unmanageable.

 

The specifics may have been different in Soros’s early days, but the overall look & feel may well be largely the same. Given that most trust their gut over their head, it is nice to see that he’s speaking up.

 

SD     

 

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Keep in mind that Soros was born in the 1930’s depression. He saw first-hand the impact on family, he saw that in Europe the depression only really ended with Germany re-arming, & he knows what it is to have to run - & have to leave almost everything behind.  He knows his topic; the audience – not so much.

 

All the kings horses, men & women believe that the crises can be ... managed .... with enough time & money. Wide-scale sub-prime collapse in the US, wholesale austerity contraction in Europe, repeated material bank bail-outs, multiple sovereign debt collapses, youth unemployment at 20-25%+, etc.  Market players need only minor reform, & what has happened far away (Arab Spring) could not possibly happen here. Back then the market players were Carnegie, Van De Bilt, Mellon, etc - & what happened far away ..... was an assassination in Serbia. Been there, done that, twice.

 

Repress high unemployment for an extended period & you get regime change. Often disruptive (Egypt, Libya, Syria), & the new really no different than the old. But when you rely on their exports (oil), & large portions of their population are guest &/or illegal workers in your country – those causes become your causes, & spread like wild fire if you have similar conditions. And European history has repeatedly shown that when disruption is wide spread, bad things happen. Post WWII we’ve had the UN, the IMF, & the Euro to hold the place together .... & all of them are evidencing signs of not being up to today’s demands. 

 

The US & Canada are not islands, but they are far enough away that most of the damage will be ‘over there’ versus ‘here’. As in WWII you may lose men, money, & materials in large numbers – but your productive capacity remains intact (it isn’t bombed every night). How you use that capacity changes dramatically, but the fact that you were able to adapt your use, is what pulls you out of the depression. Adaption to industrial & social disruption is what the US & Canada is very good at. 

 

With euro GNP contracting, unemployment/hopelessness can only worsen & the possibility of wide-spread & higher % Icelandic style debt repudiation can only increase. Iran closing the Strait of Homuz & sending oil to $150/barrel+ may be enough to tip it over the edge .... & finally make the crises unmanageable.

 

The specifics may have been different in Soros’s early days, but the overall look & feel may well be largely the same. Given that most trust their gut over their head, it is nice to see that he’s speaking up.

 

SD   

 

Good point. He experienced it first hand growing up in Hungary. Psychological factors are always at play, even for the best investors.

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