George Soros on Catastrophe Ahead

As a host of world leaders, and financial and political power, including George Soros descend on Davos, Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum, the Hungarian born billionaire worries that total global economic collapse looms.

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 27JAN10 - George Soros, Cha...

Soros is haunted by fear of a new global catastrophe, worse than the 1930s – Image via Wikipedia

Interviewed for Newsweek magazine and reported in the Daily Beast he says: “if you have a disorderly collapse of the euro, you have the danger of a revival of the political conflicts that have torn Europe apart over the centuries—an extreme form of nationalism, which manifests itself in xenophobia, the exclusion of foreigners and ethnic groups. In Hitler’s time, that was focused on the Jews. Today, you have that with the Gypsies, the Roma, which is a small minority, and also, of course, Muslim immigrants … As he sees it, the world faces one of the most dangerous periods of modern history—a period of “evil.” Europe is confronting a descent into chaos and conflict. In America he predicts riots on the streets that will lead to a brutal clampdown that will dramatically curtail civil liberties. The global economic system could even collapse altogether … It is “now more likely than not” that Greece will formally default in 2012, Soros will tell leaders (who meet 25-29 January) in Davos. He will castigate European leaders who seem to know only how to “do enough to calm the situation, not to solve the problem.”

Update: Soros is overhyping the issue to get some action out of policymakers say others:

Riots in US Streets? Why Soros’ Prediction Is Unlikely
…”I believe while Soros was being hyperbolic in a sense, what he was trying to do was warn or wake up the World Economic forum to the very real threat the Occupy Movement poses to the world system—not just in violence but in an aroused public opinion,” says Ted Morgan, political science professor at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., and author of “What Really Happened to the 1960s” (University Press of Kansas, 2011).
“One of the key questions going forward is whether Occupy can find effective ways of getting its meanings through to the wider public, rather than being stigmatized by media images,” Morgan says.
One Occupy supporter, in fact, sees recent developments, particularly President Obama’s State of the Union speech, as reason for encouragement that the movement won’t need to fulfill the Soros scenario to be heard.
“We haven’t reached a fever-pitch yet…but I don’t think it’s entirely hyperbolic,” Fordham University assistant sociology professor Heather Gautney said of the Soros prediction.
“There is a real recognition at a higher level of power that the social movement activity we’ve been seeing is legitimate, that there is a desire in these offices to address these issues of inequality,” adds Gautney, author of “Protest and Organization in the Alternative Globalization Era” (Palgrave Macmillan 2012). “That’s one way to keep a movement in check – at least give them lip service and show some efforts are being made to cope with the economic downturn.”

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