Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The George Soros Connection to 'Occupy Wall Street'

Until now, I have held back on making the accusation that some others have that George Soros has been a major influence on Occupy Wall Street, but when something becomes obvious, it's time to state it.

It is well known that Occupy Wall Street was launched by the curious group, Adbusters. There is a possible tie between Adbusters and Soros.

According to disclosure documents from 2007-2009, Soros' Open Society gave grants of $3.5 million to a murky San Francisco-based operation known as Tides Center. Tides then gave Adbusters grants totaling $185,000. Was Soros responsible for the grants to Adbusters? That's unclear. Tides provides cover for its donors in the sense that it makes the donations to outfits such as Adbusters and it becomes unclear who may have directed Tides to do so. Reuters tried to link the Adbusters donations to Soros, but was attacked by Slate because, you see, Tides made the donations, not Soros, and who knows, maybe it was another Tides donor that caused the grants to Adbuster. Very murky stuff. Soros apologists, because the grants came from Tides, can attack day after day on the fact that money hasn't come from Soros directly and can argue that there is no proof that the money came from Soros at all. What can be argued is that, if Soros wanted to hide the fact that he was funneling money to Adbusters, then using Tides as a cover is a perfect method of doing so. The Tides funding of Adbusters is a dangling clue. It hints of Soros, but because of the shell game played, you can't tie it down and as Reuters learned, their report is now off the internet, if you try to make the jump, gunslingers are going to come after you charging that you haven't completed the links, when the very use of Tides prevents completion of links. Cute.

But, here's where things get real interesting. Where might Adbusters next take the merry band of muddied occupiers? On the frontpage of the Adbusters site, a "Robin Hood Global March" is being called for on October 29. What is the goal of this march? A Progressive income tax? Free healthcare? More subsidies for the poor? Nope. The occupiers are going to march for, get this, a Tobin Tax, that is, a 1% financial transactions tax. A bunch of occupiers, who have, it appears, gained most of their "wisdom" from the Communist Manifesto and, who likely wouldn't recognize a sophisticated financial transaction from an investment banker hailing a limo, are about to march for a complex financial transaction tax, at the behest of Adbusters. If you are scratching your head at this point, it is understandable, until you realize that a financial transaction tax is a pet project of, get this, George Soros.

In his 2005 book, George Soros on Globalization, Soros writes not only in favor of the tax, but discuses how to "mobilize public opinion" for such a tax:

The globalization of financial markets has given capital an unfair advantage over other sources of taxation, a tax on financial transactions would redress the balance...the tax ought to be extended to all markets, not just currency markets... Collection has to be worldwide, including tax havens. How could it be enforced? The collecting country must be given a portion of the proceeds...To mobilize public opinion of increased international assistance, the proposal must not only show how the money will be raised but how it will be spent.

Adbusters, thus, is putting out the call to promote a plan that Soros wants so bad, that in his book, he discusses paying off foreign governments, and mobilizing public opinion, to get the tax implemented. Here's Adbusters, preparing the muddy sheep for the march (My emphasis):


This is a proposal for the general assemblies of the Occupy movement.

Eight years ago, on February 15, 2003, upwards of 15 million people in sixty countries marched together to stop President Bush from invading Iraq … a huge chunk of humanity lived for one day without dead time and glimpsed the power of a united people's movement. Now we have an opportunity to repeat that performance on an even larger scale.

On October 29, on the eve of the G20 Leaders Summit in France, let's the people of the world rise up and demand that our G20 leaders immediately impose a 1% #ROBINHOOD tax on all financial transactions and currency trades. Let's send them a clear message: We want you to slow down some of that $1.3-trillion easy money that's sloshing around the global casino each day – enough cash to fund every social program and environmental initiative in the world.

Take this idea to your local general assembly and join your comrades in the streets on October 29.

for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ

And there you have it, talk about Psych Ops. The people of Adbusters have tied together a march in an attempt to stop a war, with a demand for a Tobin Tax! Damn, I never got the connection before. Adbusters has further dumbed down the message, to the embarrassing point of calling the Tobin Tax, the Robin Hood Tax. Hey, even muddied sheep have heard of Robin Hood. The muddied sheep will march for Robin Hood.

It's fair to ask why a trader like Soros is so hot for a financial transactions tax. But once you understand the type of trader Soros is, the tax demand is obvious. Soros is a position trader. The financial transaction tax would hurt short-term traders/market makers, who trade on thin margins--the opposite of the position trader that Soros is. The tax would make markets less efficient and less liquid. Soros knows this, during a speech in 2001, he said:

I think there is a case for a Tobin tax ... (but) it is not at all clear to me that a Tobin tax would reduce volatility in the currency markets. It is true that it may discourage currency speculation but it would also reduce the liquidity of the marketplace.
With markets less liquid, the market makers that make the markets liquid and efficient will be hampered by a Tobin tax (they will now need a spread of over 1%) and this will create more profit opportunities for the position trading that Soros does.

And, thus, in the end, what you have is a bunch of clueless Utopian dreamers, marching and getting arrested for one of the greatest schemers this planet has ever seen. I assume Soros is getting a grand kick out of all of this.


  1. This guy was writing about an Obama / Biden / Soros Tobin Tax plan, a global one, linked to the IMF and SDRs way back in 2008.

    Despite it's woeful performance in Sweden, the EU heavies have been after a Tobin Tax for sometime. As has Paul Krugman. And of course, being a symptomatic treatment, it would do nothing to remove the root causes of the GFC. But distraction might be the whole point anyhow. Don't count on China to play.

  2. It's not just about creating more speculative trading opportunities for Soros. It's about a few big trades, in particular. As I have written, Soros was instrumental in getting the NY and MA Attorneys General (Schneiderman and Coakley) elected. They are now paying him back by attacking the big banks--BAC in particular. A key provision the AGs are fighting against is the release of claims, which Soros cannot have if he is to get his Absalon massive mortgage refi program passed (which has its own elimination of reps and warranties). If he succeeds, he will get a piece of tens of millions of mortgages (which will be ARMs, not fixed). Soros also wants the big banks to go bust so he can get the BHC Act repealed and take over the payments system through the tech sector.

    1. There is something wrong with going after the big banks???? The ones that tanked the economy??? Nothing wrong with that, pal.

  3. @Bob English

    I think a French court recently upheld a conviction against Soros. Is there any way to leverage that in the US?

  4. Ellen Brown is for the Toobin Tax...
    She should rethink this, with this information out there.

  5. Nice usage of the word "leverage", Lila. :->

    Soros is officially out of the trading business (but not really). He's positioned himself against the big banks and has the activist state AG's on his side. Who's going to attack him? Holder? He has his own major problems and can't afford it. The way to kick Soros in the shin is to take out Schneiderman--a la Spitzer. Unlikely to happen though. Wall St doesn't have the clout or hootzpah it did in those days.

    I think Soros could come out of the global reset as The Big Winner. It's really amazing to watch as it unfolds.

  6. Wouldn't this tax pretty much cripple the High Frequency Trading sector? Seems like Soros gets another win by reducing HFT's role in market volatility and saving on constantly being front run by HFT algos (or paying higher premiums to hide in dark pools).

  7. No way most HFT firms would survive so much as a five cent tax, as their margins are that razor thin (where they make a fortune is in volume).

    But if you think markets are volatile now, wait until you see what happens when half the marginal liquidity leaves for good (along with the fake HFT liquidity). After Smoot-Hawley and the income tax hike by Hoover in 1932, *average* daily volatility topped 5.3% in the Dow 30 (measured six mos. trailing).

  8. I'd love to see it. It would shut down a lot of the computer trading and algorithmic trading at the big investment banks, and put a squeeze on all kinds of high frequency and tight margin trading.

  9. @Bob English

    Oh. Then I got that wrong. I thought the tax wouldn't really be that much of a burden for the big guys using HFT but would hit smaller traders.

  10. One point is valid with Soros; capital has an unfair advantage over the real economy in regard to rules and taxation. If you have a real industry in California you're clearly on a disadvantage with one who can get the same return by investing his capital (i.e. living as a resident alien in England). Nowadays, with a big portion of the youth learning business and finance, this does not bode well for the future. Now, there is another solution, make the real economy more attractive. That means reducing tax and bureaucratic burdens. But here, I'm dreaming, this will never happen.

  11. @Lila: To be sure, there will be a loophole for some of the largest players. Namely, market makers will likely be exempt, and the definition of market maker would be tweaked to lessen some of the liquidity providing demands. And Bart Chilton can put his Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on every algo. Yeah, right. He actually said that:


    For everyone praying for this transaction tax, you have no idea how much more broken the markets will get. Real trading will finally have a reason to migrate from NY and not look back.

    The solution is simple: end the NBBO. Break the NYSE Euronext hegemony over the bottleneck that clogs the US equities markets. There is no need for a single central quote and trade system. Let the exchanges compete with each other for trader volume (just like a single company's stock might trade on the Naz and Toronto exchanges).

    Yes, that means we might have twelve different prices for AAPL initially, but the exchanges that provide the best service will quickly outcompete and put others out of business.

    It's important to understand that HFT is a derivative of a government granted monopoly to NYSE--namely centralized trade and quote dissemination. While HFT can be destructive, it is not the root of the problem, and layering anti-competitive regulations on top of the problem will only exacerbate it.

  12. Come on, the Left has one wealthy benefactor. The Right has an uncountable number. So you must do all you can to discredit the one benefactor.

    Moreover, Soros is far from the only proponent of the Tobin Tax which only asks Wall St. to pay a sales tax like most residents of this nation. Backed against a wall, even the Europeans (including the UK) are considering such a tax.

    Enough of using partial information to "discredit" what you consider the Left.

  13. Kalle Lasn, the founder of Adbusters, talks about this in an interview that he gave to a British Columbia newspaper:

  14. http://mindbodypolitic.com/2011/10/18/ows-police-clashes-deliberate-staging/

    Just saw this Reason piece on OWS...

  15. Stop the computer algorithmic HST which seeks to "manufacture" money from nothing. It is also to the disadvantage of the modest independent trader.

  16. Batman Occupies Wall Street

  17. There is an easy solution to a more fair taxation.
    Remove all fancy deductions that is available only to the wealthy and tax all incomes equally.
    This would guarantee billions for the national coffers.

  18. The way you make connections here, you could just as easily conclude that by making Soros wealthy, Wall Street is a supporter of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement!

  19. I disagree that George Soros is behind the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Anyone that follows him knows that he sticks to foreign policy where it's harder for governments to hold him accountable. Richard Miniter from Forbes sums it up really well in a recent article in Forbes. Read it and see that George Soros is capable of doing so much more than something this insignificant.

  20. I thought the official party line was that the Occupation was a bunch of pot-smoking kids who don't bathe and can't get a job?

    Didn't you get the memo?

    Doesn't seem fair to America that y'all get to have it both ways.