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What Does George Soros Know About Glass Houses?

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 24, 2010 11:07 AM |

“People in glass houses should not throw stones.”

On the outset of the G-20 to be held in Toronto, Tim Geithner and Larry Summers served up a pile of platitudes yesterday by writing in The Wall Street Journal, Our Agenda for the G-20. Meanwhile, they have their henchman George Soros pull out the bazooka and take direct aim at Germany today in writing in the Financial Times, Germany Must Reflect on the Unthinkable.

In reviewing Soros’ commentary, it is plainly evident that my Irish Catholic heritage does not hold the patent on laying the heavy guilt trip. Soros writes:

Germany used to be at the heart of European integration. Its statesmen used to assert that Germany had no independent foreign policy, only a European policy. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, its leaders realised that German reunification was possible only in the context of a united Europe, and they were willing to make some sacrifices to secure European acceptance. Germans would contribute a little more and take a little less than others, thereby facilitating agreement.

Those days are over. The euro is in crisis, and Germany is the main protagonist.

It was only this year, when financial markets started to worry about the accumulation of sovereign debt, that interest-rate differentials began to widen. Greece became the centre of attention when its new government revealed that its predecessors had lied about the size of the 2009 budget deficit.

European authorities were slow to react, because eurozone members held radically different views. France and other countries were willing to show solidarity, but Germany, traumatised twice in the 20th century by runaway prices, was allergic to any build-up of inflationary pressures. (Indeed, when Germany agreed to adopt the euro, it insisted on strong safeguards to maintain the new currency’ s value, and its constitutional court has reaffirmed the Maastricht treaty’s prohibition of bail-outs.)

While it is convenient and politically palatable for Soros to hammer the Germans, he provides little substance and less appreciation for the German experience of the 1930s. To shower a healthy dose of sense on cents on Mr. Soros and his friends in Washington, let’s review a Financial Times commentary written by Germany’s Federal Minister of Finance, Wolfgang Schauble. He writes,  Maligned Germany Is Right to Cut Spending:

To the question of what caused the recent turmoil in the eurozone, there is one simple answer: excessive budget deficits in many European countries.

It comes therefore as a surprise, to me at least, that one of the most passionately debated economic issues of the day should be whether Germany is acting prematurely in reining in its deficit and thereby choking the rebound at home and in our neighbours’ markets. My response is an emphatic no.

Behind the calls for us to pursue a more expansionary fiscal course lie two different approaches to economic policymaking on each side of the Atlantic. While US policymakers like to focus on short-term corrective measures, we take the longer view and are, therefore, more preoccupied with the implications of excessive deficits and the dangers of high inflation.

There you go. Heavy guilt from Soros juxtaposed against heavy reality from Schauble. I particularly appreciate Schauble’s focus on the American short term mentality. I wholeheartedly agree.

Living beyond one’s means and spending money one does not have is a path to long term economic pain. Will America and Washington ever learn the lesson? Perhaps we should heed the caution sent our way from Schauble.

Until then, we may want to be careful about throwing stones.


  • Titan

    How do you spell political pawn?? G-E-O-R-G-E S-O-R-O-S

    Bankrolled Obama through and America has been paying for it ever since.

  • Lou

    While Obamanomics = “spending other people’s money”, Schauble is giving Washington the special salute…!!

  • Robert

    This back and forth is merely an indication that we are now entering the next leg of our global economic crisis. Individual countries will now do what they view as in their best interests.

    Who are we to tell other countries how to run their finances? Would we accept another nation’s finance ministers or high profile financiers telling us how to do things?

    We’d tell them to take a long jump off a short pier.

  • Beast

    When you think of George Soros or hear him speak, do you truly trust him?

  • Socialist

    Check out what the Washington Examiner had to say about good ol George Soros back in 2008. Is George a socialist? Nice and easy to spend other people’s money to change the world and then profit from it via your own money management enterprise.

    George Soros heavily funded ACORN? Yes, that ACORN which is now broke but was widely recognized to have engaged in voter fraud in the 2008 election. What more do we need to know?

    The ends justify the means, right George?

    Editorial: Soros poised for payback on his political investment

    August 28, 2008
    It’s bad enough that American taxpayers have to bail out the privately owned, tax-exempt Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But it’s truly outrageous that tax dollars will also go to support activist groups involved in voter fraud and illegal immigration.

    According to House Financial Services Committee member Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., the small print in the $42 billion bailout bill passed by Congress and signed by President Bush requires these two government-sponsored mortgage giants to deposit 4.2 percent of all new mortgages they underwrite into the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that will be $531 million in fiscal 2009 alone.

    Here’s the catch. Bachmann warns that the trust fund — the largest expansion of federal housing assistance since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society — is required to make grants to organizations that have “demonstrated the experience and the capacity to carry out the proposed Trust Fund activity.” Which means that money can easily be siphoned off to groups such as the National Council of La Raza and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. The latter has been heavily funded by George Soros, the mega-wealthy mogul behind many liberal causes.

    From the Washington Examiner.

  • Socialist

    For more on good ol’ George’s connection to ACORN and its founder Wade Rathke, check out this 2003 article from the Pittsburgh Tribune,

    Soros gives millions to U.S. groups advocating everything from gay rights through the legalization of marijuana and the acceptance of assisted suicides to campaigns against Republicans and President George Bush. Gorgeous George will continue to work with groups such as San Francisco’s Tides Foundation & Tides Center, whose boast is that they have created a new model for grant-making, “one that strains the boundaries of U.S. tax law in the pursuit of our leftist, activist goals.”

    The director of Tides is Wade Rathke, who is also president of the radical Service Employees International Union and the founder of ACORN…..

  • Bill

    Soros is probably angling to set the stage to add to his billions through a tremendous short which will pay off handsomely due to the collapse of the financial system with assistance of his machinations. Don’t forget he is a convicted felon in French courts. Ordinarily the Left fawns over all things francophile, but you don’t hear anything out of them on the subject of Soros’ conviction.

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