George Soros is a billionaire hedge fund manager and a prominent philanthropist, without mentioning that the man is one of the most successful and most respected investors in the entire world. He’s also a major donor to the Democrats and to noble causes, mainly through the Open Society Foundations.
George Soros is at the forefront of philanthropy in the world through his Open Society Foundations, evidently as he gave $18 billion to the foundation, just recently, which is just a part of the lifelong amount that he has already donated to the foundations. That effort, as a private donor, is recognized to be one of the biggest transfers of wealth ever made to a single foundation. The fund has been made available to the foundation quietly over the years, but was formally made public in October. The funds made the Open Society Foundations become the second-biggest organization, in terms of philanthropy, in the United States. The organization is only behind Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
However, he didn’t just get to where he is now out of luck. As a boy, he lived in Hungary, which was then occupied by Nazi. While Budapest was under Communist rule after the World War II in 1947, he moved to London and again to the United States; it was in the US he got into Wall Street and met with success. Mr Soros won a bet against the British pound – a one billion dollars bet in 1992. He famously used the strategy of selling aggressively the currency, which pushed the UK government to take the decision of devaluing the pound.
With a growing fortune, Mr Soros decided to uphold democratic rights and human rights. In 1984, he started an Open Society foundation, the first in Hungary. The name was inspired by the book “Open Society and Its Enemies,” by philosopher Karl Popper. In the book, he argued for a democratic governance, respect for human rights and freedom of expression.
For more than 30 years now, the Open Society has been promoting human rights and democracy in over 120 countries. The Open Society Foundations have disbursed close to $14 billion over the past 30 years— the funding has been mostly towards social justice, pro-democracy and human rights programs. Recently, the organization is more focused on the United States. It has been investing in different programs that support their beliefs, like protection of the rights of gays and lesbians and reduction of abuses meted by the police. Also, Mr Soros has been supportive of a liberal immigration policy in response to the huge refugee crisis in Europe.
The critical stories against Mr Soros as a philanthropist are clear evidence of the kind of political climate we have currently. A lot of people focusing their ideological frustrations on a few benevolent elite who associate with the opposing political party. Conservatives do that with Soros, but most of the critics tend to be detached from reality.
Currently, George Soros is, without a doubt, one of the most successful investors, and one of the most relevant philanthropists alive.