[Surfside] Dangers of an unfettered market; George Soros interview

Paul Makepeace bookmarks@paulm.com
Mon, 14 Oct 2002 22:58:00 +0100

George Soros is one of my all-time heroes - completely captivating in
what he says and how he thinks; astonishing density of information,
logic and insight.

Here is a recent interview he did - discussion of how financial markets
do not tend to equilibrium, public morality, market regulation and the
effects of the threat of a war with Iraq.



``I don't give any weight to the social consequences of my actions,
because in an efficient market there's always somebody else who is ready
to take your place at only a marginally different price. Therefore you
don't really affect the outcome.''


``Now, so as a market participant I don't need to give way to moral
considerations. That is one of the things that makes markets so
efficient. However, as a society we can't live without moral
considerations. In other words, we do have to protect the public good.
And markets are not designed to do that, so we need a political


``And actually what went wrong with Generally Accepted Accounting
Principles is that the principles were translated into rules, a very
minute rules, and the principles got disregarded. And one of the good
things that the Securities and Exchange Commission did, was to require
the financial officers, chief executives to testify that the accounts
represent the true state of affairs, irrespective of whether they meet
the rules. And that reintroduce the principles. So we really do have to
go back to principles, and we have to recognize there is such a thing as
public good, which is not served by everybody pursuing his

It just goes on...


Paul Makepeace ....................................... http://paulm.com/

"If time was not of the essence, then put it down. It's not yours
   -- http://paulm.com/toys/surrealism/