George Soros was born on August 12, 1930, in the capital city of Hungary, namely the City of Budapest from a Jewish family. He is an American financier, writer, philanthropist, and political activist. He is known as an investor, making him one of the wealthiest people in the world and a philanthropist who upholds a high sense of social liberalism. Evidenced by establishing investment companies and international grant foundations.
Soros was born with the name György Schwartz into an affluent Jewish family. To escape the growing anti-Semitism in communist Hungary, the Schwartz family eventually changed their surname to Soros in 1936. As a teenager, his country was invaded by the Nazis in 1944. But, Soros survived the invasion by making fake letters and fleeing to another country to avoid being sent to the Nazi concentration camps at that time.
Eventually, Soros and his family moved to London. There, Soros once lived in poverty and wandered around as a train porter and also as a nightclub waiter to finance his studies at the London School of Economics. In his studies, Soros explored the philosophical teachings of Karl Popper’s “The Open Society and Its Enemies”. After completing his studies Soros did not continue his career as a philosopher, but Soros chose to immigrate to the United States to work in the world of finance and investment. That’s where the point of Soros’ success is seen.
Career Succes Begins
George Soros started his career in the United States in 1956 when he joined the Wall Street brokerage firm, F.M Mayer. After working at Mayer, he went on to work for several other companies before eventually founding his own company, initially called Soros Fund and later renamed Quantum Fund.
When Soros started Quantum Fund, the company had assets worth 12 million dollars. Over the years, the company’s assets grew exponentially, reaching a whopping 25 billion dollars in 2011. Soros’ successful management and investment strategies played a significant role in the company’s growth and success.
Soros is known as a wealthy speculator through his investment company Quantum Fund. Its demand for currency in Asia brought huge profits, but the opposite for countries in Asia was a disaster known as the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997. The first country to report was Thailand. The Thailand crisis that occurred in July 1997 caused inflation of around 40%, Soros was called the person behind the crisis.
His scheme of depreciating the baht with funds of less than 1 billion dollars resulted in a collapse in the baht’s value. The Thai government responded when it learned of the phone call, the Bank of Thailand bought the Baht for dollars on the foreign exchange market, raising interest rates and limiting foreigners’ access to the currency for the first few months.
However, this action actually lowered the credibility of the Thai central bank. The crisis in Thailand then spread to neighboring countries, including Malaysia and Indonesia.
Soros became one of the richest people in the world thanks to his skills in currency speculation or forex trading, stock investment, and setting up financial companies. Apart from that, Soros is also known as “The man who broke up the Bank of England” and was branded as the mastermind behind the monetary crisis in several countries.
Philanthropy and Political Activism
His philanthropic story begins in 1979 when Soros first awarded scholarships to black South Africans under Apartheid. In the 1980s, Soros also promoted the open exchange of ideas for Hungarian Communists by providing funding for academic visits to the West and supporting fledgling independent advancement and other initiatives.
Soros also founded universities in central Europe in the former communist bloc to develop critical thinking. At the start of the 21st century, the Open Society Foundation was active in more than 70 countries. In 2017 it was reported that Soros has given an estimated $18 billion to the organization in recent years, making it one of the largest philanthropic groups in the world.
After the end of the cold war, Soros gradually expanded his philanthropy to Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the United States. Soros became a prominent critic who said the war on drugs helped fuel America’s medical marijuana movement. Soros also supports same-sex marriage for the welfare of an open society. Soros is also often active in supporting election votes in the United States and sometimes involved in pro and con actions against election candidate pairs in the United States.
Fun Facts About George Soros Behind The Monetary Crysis That Hit in Indonesian 1998
Soros was known as a speculator who brought disaster to other countries. His name is set as the person behind the destruction of the British and Thai currency. The speculation scheme carried out through the company’s quantum fund is to buy foreign currency in various countries, especially in Asia, and speculate that the value will be high against the dollar.
When he made high profits through his speculation, the country that was the target of his speculation was even hit by a monetary crisis. One of them is Indonesia when the monetary crisis occurred, the rupiah exchange rate against the dollar reached IDR 16,000 and which was the highest value at that time. Inflation soared to 77% which occurred at that time due to the currency crisis.
This inflation changed the Indonesian exchange rate system from a controlled floating exchange rate system to a free-floating exchange rate system. In fact, there were various causes of the 98 monetary crisis. However, Soros’ speculation of a drop in exchange rates in various countries had an impact on the 98 monetary crisis in Indonesia and it was said that our country was not good at responding to the monetary crisis that occurred in various Asian countries. So that the monetary crisis could not be avoided.
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