SOROS ON SOROS: Staying Ahead of the Curve by George with Byron Wien & Krisztina Koenen Soros

SOROS ON SOROS: Staying Ahead of the Curve

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This penetrating interview with dominant financial philosopher and philanthropist Soros (Underwriting Democracy, 1991, etc.) is unfortunately hindered by repetition, obscurity, and occasionally forced contrariness. A book of conversations with a successful investor automatically suggests the Market Wizards collection, the seminal pair of books containing interviews with financiers who fit the title. Like those works, Soros on Soros sinks or swims with the ability of its subject to shed light on the methods that have made him the second most successful money manager in history (after Warren Buffett). The reflective and talkative Soros provides three interviews. The first, conducted by investment strategist and Soros friend Wien, concentrates on the Hungarian immigrant's upbringing and investment style. Hungarian journalist Koenen poses the questions in the second interview, which explores Soros's philanthropic efforts and global political interests. The final interview, again by Wien, delves more deeply into Soros's philosophy as it informs his life outside of investing. Untangling the man's uniquely philosophical approach to market prognostication, the first section is by far the most tantalizing. Since 1969, Soros has managed the Quantum Fund, the superior precursor to today's hedge funds, which, by employing a greater deal of leverage than most funds dare, has grown at a pace that would have turned a $1,000 investment in 1969 into over $2 million today. Soros is perhaps best known for Quantum's attack on the British pound in 1992, a maneuver that netted Quantum shareholders over $2 billion but is viewed with hostility by many who fear the trader's power. The play-by-play of this wrangle and others best grabs the attention of readers not intimidated by concepts such as derivatives and currency speculation. Call it messianic or ballsy, there's a courage to this interviewee that makes for both an educational and entertaining read, though one dampened by the constraints of the question-and-answer format.

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 1995
Page count: 321pp
Publisher: Wiley