Soros seeks end to speculation

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George Soros, the man who broke the Bank of England, appears to have undergone the sort of conversion experienced by St Paul and most of the world's communist parties, writes Will Bennett.

The Hungarian-born speculator was reputed to have made £1bn out of the 1992 currency crisis which drove sterling out of the ERM and brought joy to the hearts of Euro-sceptics.

Now Mr Soros says that currency speculators are threatening Europe's prosperity and need to be stopped. Mr Soros outlines his conversion and his call for a single European currency in the first programme of a new television series, The Battle for Ideas, to be shown on BBC2 tomorrow.

In an interview with Andrew Marr of the Independent, Mr Soros says that he supports a single European currency for a core group of countries. Mr Marr says: "Not much good for speculators then, is it?"

Laughing, Mr Soros replies: "Well I'm happy to be put out of business, I have other forms of investment. You see, I think that all currency arrangements are flawed.

"If you have a fixed exchange rate that breaks down, if you have a fluctuating exchange rate, it becomes unstable and goes to extremes. So actually, the only way to get out of these and get away from it is not to have an exchange rate but a single currency."

Asked if his conversion is a penance for what went before, Mr Soros replies: "Not a penance, I think it is a sign of my success that I can afford to speak out. Now, maybe I won't be so successful as a speculator, I'll have to go back and earn some money."