Wednesday, October 28, 2009

George Soros, Enemy of Free Markets

It has always been understood, sometimes whispered, that Geroge Soros, the great beneficiary of markets, hates them.

The truth is now out in the open.

John Stossel reports, via FT, that Soros will give $50 million to start a new think-tank to counter "the unwavering belief in unchecked free markets, which remains pervasive in universities."

Soros says: "The ideologists in the free markets are still in command and I think they'll be very difficult to remove because they have tenure."

If anything proves that one has to question Soros' analytical ability, it is this statement.

The leading economic textbook in American colleges is written by Greg Mankiw. Mankiw has among other insane suggestions, called for a negative interest rate, a global carbon tax, a higher gas tax, and before the economy plunged deep into a downturn he claimed , in December, 2007, that we should stay out of the way of the Fed as it continued its money manipulations. He wrote, of this group, who did not see the housing bubble:

...the current Fed governors, together with their crack staff of Ph.D. economists and market analysts, are as close to an economic dream team as we are ever likely to see...The best Congress can do now is to let the Bernanke bunch do its job.
Yes, this smiling monster, who calls for tax after tax, and hailed the Fed just hours before it drove the economy off a cliff, is producing the top selling college economic textbook in the country.

Calling college teaching captured by free market advocates when a Mankiw text is the best seller is like stating that the Uzbek language is dominant in Mexico after having a few shots and overhearing six Uzbekistan tourists speaking Uzbek in Tijuana.

Soros as global thinker is a myth. Which supports the other rumor whispered about him, that the only serious money he ever made was with the help of Jim Rogers, or through insider tips on government currency moves.


  1. Rob

    I agree with your analysis of Soros but you may be wrong in your reading of Soros's analysis of Mankiw et al.

    To Soros (and many 'progressives' generally) Mankiw type economics, despite its long list of exceptions and amendments to market principles, and focus on justifications for state interventions, is free market economics. And it's not necessarily because they are nievely ignorant of Austrians and laisser faire. It is because Mankiw et al still have a core of market dynamics under the welter of state interventions. They don't want any market economics, period.

    In the progressive mindset anything in the economic sphere that is outside the oversight or control of government is assumed to be wrong and exploitative to begin with. The very idea that market transactions can be positive sum games with gains for all actors is something they do not accept.

    Of course if Soros really believed this he could simply give away his wealth. I suspect his motivations are more complex. He is attempting to buy the approval of the intellectual progressive class. This is rather like the phenomena seen in countries with knighthoods, aristocratic titles etc where a businessman will attempt to 'purchase' one through various charitable works etc.

  2. Mankiw is a Keynesian. I doubt he ever read Hayek until he’d left the White House.

    Bravo Robert!

  3. I don’t understand the confusion about Mankiw. Not form your article,
    but discussing it with other economists.

    New Keynesian economics is the use
    of contemporary macroeconomics
    that strives to provide
    microeconomic foundations for
    Keynesian economics.

    Therefore New Keynesian economics
    provides a rationale for
    government intervention in the economy.

    I would hardly expect a Keynesian economist to favor free market