- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1st edition (March 7, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1586481258
- ISBN-13: 978-1586481254
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,441,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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George Soros On Globalization 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Financial mastermind Soros (The Alchemy of Finance, etc.) has made his mark as a philanthropist with a progressive foreign policy, fostering open societies. He equates globalization with "the free movement of capital and the increasing domination of national economies by global financial markets and multinational corporations." In this treatise, he explains how his vision to "make global capitalism more stable and equitable" acknowledges that antiglobalization protesters have a case against the mainstream consensus that the market works well. Instead of dismantling existing international financial and trade institutions, though, Soros suggests reform. Market fundamentalists, he says, are unwilling to modify existing institutions to create a level playing field; moreover, they're loath to create institutions to foster social goals like reducing poverty. Protestors, he observes, are "strangely blind" to the need to improve the quality of government and public life in poorer countries. Soros's suggested method provides aid that will "enable, encourage, and reinforce" voluntary compliance with international standards relating to environment, education and labor. His proposal? The richer countries in the IMF issue Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) for international assistance i.e., international reserve assets a process that shares the burden equitably, with the United States paying its fair share. A board of "eminent persons" chooses who's eligible for assistance, and a separate audit commission evaluates those chosen. After September 11, Soros notes in conclusion, Americans must recognize the world's precarious interdependence. Soros has an admirable track record and the virtue of hindsight (his foundations have done innovative work and his take on what could have been done in Russia over the past decade is compelling). This dry but vital book deserves attention and debate.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Renowned international investor and financial guru Soros outlines the problems of globalization, limiting its meaning here to "the free movement of capital and the increasing domination of national economies by global financial markets and multinational corporations." Thus, Soros does not delve into the social or cultural applications of globalization. Criticism instead is leveled on both the "market fundamentalists"--Reagan-Thatcher types who seek to remove all impediments (taxation and regulation) to international investing--and the antiglobalization activists, who see the phenomenon as immoral. An admitted fan of globalization, Soros contends that the market is amoral but that certain reforms are necessary to ensure ethical standards. Soros' conclusion is that international institutions have not kept pace with the international economy, and a true "open society" (the title of Soros' last book) relies on that progress. A follow-up is in the offing, as the author is anxious to further expand on his open-society idea. Though the subject matter is complicated, Soros' simplified treatment makes this a timely and necessary title for any basic economy collection. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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The irony of the book begins in the Preface on page viii. Soros claims he has "unusual qualifications" to speak on globalization due to his being a "successful practitioner in global financial markets, giving (him) an insider's view of how they operate." Insider's view or Insider's trading? Tomato, tomata. Fortunately, a criminal conviction for Insider Trading in France finally stuck to this slime. Note that I am unapologetically biased in this review.
Another irony worth mentioning is found on page 71. Soros is discussing the Tobin Tax, a method of International Aid for which he supports, would discourage currency speculation. I couldn't help but giggle considering that has been the source of Soros' 'more money than God' lifestyle. He isn't known for being the "Man who broke the Bank of England" for nothing.
Though this book is only 186 pages, there are too many hair-pulling issues to discuss. So for a quasi-quick summary...The goal of the book is (p.viii) "to form a different kind of coalition whose mission would be to reform and strengthen our international institutions and create new ones where necessary to address the social concerns that have fueled the current discontent." He wants to (p. 25)"foster the development of open societies". Please note that "Open Society" Soros-style, not Karl Popper's, is the ceding of sovereignty of every State to an International Government. He refers to the Treaty of Westphalia and state sovereignty as (p. 170) "anachronistic."
The real fun of this book is the linguistic acrobats performed by Soros while explaining his SDR (Special Drawing Rights)scheme. He uses the term "scheme" himself. And an underhanded plot it is indeed. Essentially, wealth redistribution should be done on a global scale (p.106). This "scheme" will be carried out through the World Bank- which should be restructured akin to the Federal Reserve (p.104). That alone should spell disaster. The World Bank and the IMF (International Money Fund) will work in conjunction. Soros has the magic bullet, the plan for SDRs to save the world's poor. SDRs will be granted through the IMF. The IMF can cancel and/or create SDRs. So whomever controls the IMF will essentially become King of the Hill. If you are the enemy of the International Government- you may find yourself cancelled.
Basically, it is a Welfare Program for Sovereign States. Eventually, the sovereignty of those states will cede due to their perpetual financial dependence upon the Kings of the Hill. I would liken it to modern day slavery. For instance, if a third-world nation is receiving SDRs annually, at what point will they rise above? If they are no longer impoverished, the gravy train stops. The IMF and World Bank will also be given unilateral power over the political structures of these nations- through incentives and penalties. This means government by the International community, not by the people themselves.
The scheme attacks those concerned with moral hazard, specifically the lending nations, and free market fundamentalists. Public Enemy number one for Soros is the United States. I highlighted numerous times where the US was referred to as the "obstacle" or the "culprit" to his global society dream. The US, to Soros, should be more involved in policing the world (p.179- one of many examples) and fostering the development of democracy in other countries. Perpetual warfare seems to be popular with these Internationalists. And if the US fails to deliver, perhaps Soros will pull a little currency speculation.
I could go on and on, but I hope that I've hit the major points. I think the most telling sentence of this book is found on page 163, "We have come to distrust invocations of moral principles because those principles are easily perverted." I hope the reader enjoys this book written by the Prince of Perverts as little as I did.
The constant footnotes (almost every page) are irritating and should have been collected in the back -- possibly revealing just how little substance there is to the book.
Supposedly this is an inspirational book. It could and should have been. The issues are important. However only the most dedicated will slog through the deadly dreary writing. And having done so they will wonder why they bothered except as an exercise in self-discipline.
complex issues and situations are broken down even for sleepy poolside readers. he reminds us that too high an arch could dishevel gains made in social assistance programs - his own "enterprise" with the bank of England was "tempered" by his huge donation to African nations.
something tells me this book will not be featured on the Bill O'Reilly Show.