Category: Economics

Is George Soros’ 2008 prediction at heart of Russian Controversy?

 

George Soro’s Bold Prediction

In 2008, the world was entering the first stage of what became known as the Great Recession. The global economic crisis came from a variety of factors. A US stock market crash and a dangerous geopolitical environment was combined with the interconnected global financial system to disastrous effects.

Fast forward to 2016. The stock market has been in the worst 10-day decline in history. Russia is engaged in another land war, much like the Russian-Georgian war of 2008. And already, global markets across oceans are triggering panics at home.
It is no wonder that George Soros sees a resemblance between the world in 2016 and in 2008. His prediction is drawing controversy from powerful global leaders, whom have a surprising target.

George Soros the Philanthropist

To understand the current controversy, let’s take a look at the work that George Soros has done outside the markets. The Open Society Foundation is an organization that George Soros founded. The ideals behind the foundation are human rights, government accountability and freedom of truth. By supporting independent watchdog organizations, Soros’ efforts have helped create awareness of exploitative and abusive enterprises, allowing international agencies to bring sanctions and punishment on these types of rulers and businessmen.

Controversy in Russia

Soros’ stance on openness, human rights and transparency cause friction against many of the world’s large and powerful governments and companies. Most notably in Russia, where free speech is repressed by the government and accountability is as transparent as a brick wall, there has been a rejection of Soros’ Open Society work and of his values. According to CNBC, the Russian government has taken on the antiquated use of book burning to denounce the values as “perverted” and “alien to Russian ideals.” Soros’ foundations have targeted as well, accused of “soft aggression” against Russia. (CNBC)

The Heart of the Matter

Soros has been a philanthropist for over 40 years now, so why has this controversy arisen today? Perhaps it is related to the ominous prediction that Soros has made, claiming that 2016 is set to look like 2008. In 2008, the Georgian-Russian conflicted erupted into full-fledged war. In 2016, the scene seems to be set for a Ukranian-Russian war. As reported in the New York Book Review, so far, global leaders have been hesitant to take aggressive steps against Russia in this matter, and Soros’ seems to believe this will have consequences. Russia however, is eager to avoid such comparisons and draw more international anger. In this light, Russia’s denouncement of Soros’ foundations makes more sense.