Monday, May 11, 2009
Billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros was in the news again this morning telling a German newspaper that we've seen the worst of the financial market crisis and that the global economy will soon be on the mend as reported by Reuters.
"The economic freefall has been stopped, the collapse of the financial system averted. National economic stimulus programs are starting to take effect. The downward dynamic is easing," Soros told the newspaper.Hmmm...
"I expect the recovery to make up for around half of the downturn we have had and then to move into stagnation," Soros said. "Asia will be first to find out of the crisis, but America is also currently doing that."
Is there any reason to think that this May's forecast will be any better than last May's?
Recall that, shortly after the Bear Stearns crisis early last year, what, at the time, may have appeared to be the culmination of market disorder stretching back to late-2007, Mr. Soros famously declared the equivalent of an "all clear", confidently stating that the "acute phase" of the crisis had past.
This was one year ago, before the the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression last fall, and before the global economy and world financial markets began the radical transformation that is still very much in progress today.
Here's the Bloomberg story from a year ago.
May 20, 2008 - Billionaire investor George Soros said the "acute phase" of the global credit crisis is over, and the fallout will lead to recessions in the U.K. and the U.S.Is George Soros now a contrary indicator?
"Financial institutions have been severely damaged and we are currently in a situation that will probably, I think almost inevitably, result in a recession certainly in the United States and most likely in England also,'' he said in an interview with BBC Radio 4 today.
"We've had a pretty serious crunch, but the acute phase is behind us," Soros said. "Now we have to feel the effects. In the case of the U.K., you've had a housing bubble that in terms of price increases has been greater than in the U.S."