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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Soros: China's Future Path Is 'Major Uncertainty Facing the World'

How China decides to approach the tension it faces between sustaining rapid economic growth and amassing a major debt burden represents the key global issue facing the world today, says hedge fund legend George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management.

"The major uncertainty facing the world today is . . . the future direction of China," he writes in Economia.

"The growth model responsible for its rapid rise has run out of steam. That model depended on financial repression of the household sector, in order to drive the growth of exports and investments."

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George Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1930. His father was taken prisoner during World War I and eventually fled from captivity in Russia to reunite with his family in Budapest. Soros was thirteen years old when Hitler's Wehrmacht seized Hungary and began deporting the country's Jews to extermination camps. In 1946, as the Soviet Union was taking control of the country, Soros attended a conference in the West and defected. He emigrated in 1947 to England, supported himself by working as a railroad porter and a restaurant waiter, graduated in 1952 from the London School of Economics, and obtained an entry-level position with an investment bank.

In 1956, Soros immigrated to the United States, working as a trader and analyst until 1963. During that time, he developed his own theory of markets called 'reflexivity', which he has laid out in his recent books THE ALCHEMY OF FINANCE and THE CREDIT CRISIS OF 2008 AND WHAT IT MEANS. In 1967 he helped establish an offshore investment fund; and in 1973 he set up a private investment firm that eventually evolved into the Quantum Fund, one of the first hedge funds, through which he accumulated a vast fortune.