George Soros is reinventing the wheel, but this time he’s not doing it in the financial markets. Instead, he is reinventing colloquial sayings to aptly describe the current crisis in Europe. He is saying that Europe and the European Union are on the verge of, “Kicking the ball back up the hill,” instead of saying kicking the can down the road.
The current conditions in Syria and other parts of the Middle East are unfathomable. Millions of innocent families are fleeing war-torn areas and pouring into the European continent at an uncontrollable and economically unsustainable rate. Soros, a successful refugee himself, is urging Germany’s Angela Merkel to stand up and take control of the situation. George Soros has been critical of Merkel in the past, calling her a talented politician who says the right things at the right time but not a leader. He recently changed his stance when he saw Merkel stand up to Vladimir Putin during Russia’s aggression in the Crimea. Now he sees a leader that has the potential to be strong in the face of this crisis which could cripple and destroy the European Union.
Soros is especially sensitive to this migrant crisis. He and his family survived Nazi rule in Turkey, where young George Soros was not allowed to attend school. His family was in such peril that they changed their names and secured fake paperwork to avoid persecution. Once the war was over, his family fled the European mainland for the UK. When they came ashore they had nothing and George had to work on jobs in order to put himself through the London school of economics.
After graduating, he was known as a maverick in the financial markets; almost reckless. Perhaps it was his experience with life-and-death situations as a young man that desensitized him to the risks in the marketplace. But with one brash move he capitalized on the collapse of the British pound, betting against it to make US$1 billion in profit. This boldness made him the most famous hedge fund manager in the world. Every year, his hedge fund has grown 20% and his net worth has ballooned to over $27 billion.
His unique experience as a migrant and as a hedge fund manager puts them into prime position to see the oncoming crisis. The problem lies in the Shengen agreement, a pact that 28 different European countries signed which essentially makes the European continent one country. Once inside, there is free movement of people, money and jobs. But the influx of immigrants is going to flood the economy with impoverished people who do not have jobs. Soros is calling on Germany and the rest of Europe to band together in order to create a uniform policy that allows immigrants to come into the union at an economically sustainable rate.