"Everything Has Gone Wrong": Soros Warns "Major" Financial Crisis Is Coming
29 May, 2018
In a speech delivered Tuesday in Paris, billionaire investor George Soros warned that the world could be on the brink of another devastating financial crisis, as debt crises reemerge in Europe and a strengthening dollar pressures both the US's emerging- and developed-market rivals.
“Brexit is an immensely damaging process harmful to both sides,” the billionaire exclaimed.
Until recently, it could have been argued that austerity is working: the European economy is slowly improving, and Europe must simply persevere. But, looking ahead, Europe now faces the collapse of the Iran nuclear deal and the destruction of the transatlantic alliance, which is bound to have a negative effect on its economy and cause other dislocations.
The strength of the dollar is already precipitating a flight from emerging-market currencies. We may be heading for another major financial crisis. The economic stimulus of a Marshall Plan for Africa and other parts of the developing world should kick in just at the right time. That is what has led me to put forward an out-of-the-box proposal for financing it.
“The EU is in an existential crisis. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong,” he said.
To escape the crisis, “it needs to reinvent itself.”
"The United States, for its part, has exacerbated the EU’s problems. By unilaterally withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, President Donald Trump has effectively destroyed the transatlantic alliance. This has put additional pressure on an already beleaguered Europe. It is no longer a figure of speech to say that Europe is in existential danger; it is the harsh reality."
“We may be heading for another major financial crisis,” Soros said explicitly.
I personally regarded the EU as the embodiment of the idea of the open society. It was a voluntary association of equal states that banded together and sacrificed part of their sovereignty for the common good. The idea of Europe as an open society continues to inspire me.
But since the financial crisis of 2008, the EU seems to have lost its way. It adopted a program of fiscal retrenchment, which led to the euro crisis and transformed the eurozone into a relationship between creditors and debtors. The creditors set the conditions that the debtors had to meet, yet could not meet. This created a relationship that was neither voluntary nor equal – the very opposite of the credo on which the EU was based.
European Implosion Sends Panic Through Global Markets As George Soros Warns ‘We May Be Heading For Another Major Financial Crisis’
29 May, 2018
I told you to keep your eyes on Europe. On Tuesday, widespread panic shot through European financial markets and this deeply affected U.S. markets as well. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 391 points, and at this point the Dow and the S&P 500 have been down for three trading sessions in a row. But the big news is what is happening over in Europe. Tuesday’s crash represented the largest one day move for 2 year Italian bonds ever, and Italian bank stocks are now down a whopping 24 percent from their April highs. Overall, European banks have fallen a total of 11 percent over the last four days, and it isn’t just banks in troubled countries such as Italy and Spain that are hurting. The biggest bank in Europe, Deutsche Bank, just keeps on tumbling and is now just barely above all-time lows. A few days ago when I wrote that the next global economic crisis “could be just around the corner”, there were some people that criticized me for making such a statement. Well, as you will see below, now this fact has become so obvious that even George Soros is saying it.
Risk aversion is back. Italy is the focal point, with its bond market in meltdown, its politics in crisis after President Sergio Mattarella blocked the formation of an antiestablishment government, and its credit rating under threat.
That is all now making bigger waves: Europe’s deepening troubles and disappointing global growth signals are sparking a sudden rally in haven bonds like U.S. Treasurys.
Italy has been without a government since an inconclusive vote in early March, with anti-establishment political groups abandoning their efforts to form a coalition over the weekend amid a dispute with the country’s head of state.
President Sergio Mattarella, who was installed by a previous pro-EU government, refused to accept the nomination of euroskeptic candidate Paolo Savona for economy minister on Sunday.
Instead, he set the country on a path to another snap vote by appointing former International Monetary Fund (IMF) official Carlo Cottarelli as interim prime minister.
Italy, the third-largest EU power once Britain leaves, may sooner or later be run by two parties who agree on little other than their apparent eagerness to break stuff. It could be Italy’s debt — a default in the trillions of euros. It could be the euro, if they follow through on past promises to hold a referendum on membership in the single currency. And what’s ultimately broken could be the EU as we know it, if any such referendum goes against Brussels, as most that have been held have done.
The stark warning from the billionaire money manager comes as Italian bond yields have jumped to multi-year highs and major emerging economies including Turkey and Argentina are struggling to contain the fallout from runaway inflation. Soros, who has been the object of ire by the government of his native Hungary, saved his gloomiest outlook for the EU.
“Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong,” he said, citing the refugee crisis and austerity policies that catapulted populists into power, as well as “territorial disintegration” exemplified by Brexit. “It is no longer a figure of speech to say that Europe is in existential danger; it is the harsh reality,” he said.