By Shawn Langlois, MarketWatch
George Soros just turned 90 years old... and he’s got a lot to say.
‘We are in a crisis, the worst crisis in my lifetime since the Second World War. I would describe it as a revolutionary moment when the range of possibilities is much greater than in normal times. What is inconceivable in normal times becomes not only possible but actually happens. People are disoriented and scared. They do things that are bad for them and for the world.’
That’s how the billionaire financier, a longtime bogeyman for the right, kicked off his wide-ranging birthday interview, posted on Wednesday , with Italy’s La Repubblica.
Soros is confident the U.S. is better positioned to weather the pandemic than Europe, even though he took issue with the man calling the shots in the White House.
“Even in the United States, a confidence trickster like Trump can be elected president and undermine democracy from within,” he said. “But in the U.S. you have a great tradition of checks and balances and established rules. And above all you have the Constitution. So I am confident that Trump will turn out to be a transitory phenomenon, hopefully ending in November.”
Until then, however, Soros warned that Trump “remains very dangerous,” because “he’s fighting for his life and he will do anything to stay in power.” He added that Trump will be held accountable for his violations of the Constitution if he loses the presidency.
Pivoting to his legendary approach to financial markets, Soros acknowledged that we’re caught up in a bubble fueled by Fed liquidity, which has created a situation that he now avoids. He explained that “two simple propositions” make up the framework that has historically given him an advantage, but since he shared it in his book, “Alchemy of Finance,” the advantage is gone.
“One is that in situations that have thinking participants the participants’ view of the world is always incomplete and distorted. That is fallibility,” said Soros, who made a killing shorting the British pound decades ago. “The other is that these distorted views can influence the situation to which they relate and distorted views lead to inappropriate actions. That is reflexivity.”
He went on to say the market, which he no longer participates in, is sustained by the expectation of more fiscal stimulus along with hopes Trump will announce a vaccine before November.
And the gains keep coming. At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.88% was up more than 200 points, while both the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -1.12% and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -1.07% were also firmly in the green in Wednesday’s session.