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Outlook: Like him or loathe him, Soros is in the right

Tinpot speculator meets tinpot dictator. George Soros and Mahathir Mohamad were involved in a spectacular exchange of insults at the IMF meeting in Hong Kong over the weekend. They perhaps thoroughly deserve each other. But there's equally little doubt about who is in the right on all this. Like him or loathe him, it is George Soros.

God, Mammon and the guardian angels

The global market may wreck local cultures but, says Diane Coyle, it can also boost democracy

Asia will have to learn the rules

The IMF could scarcely have chosen a better place to hold its annual meeting this year. By a lucky fluke the world's financial community will be gathering in Hong Kong to put the Asian financial turmoil under the microscope. The questions to address are: what caused the crisis, could it have been foreseen, could it have been prevented, and has the response been adequate?

Management guru finds secret of life

In defining the nature and future of modern work, nobody excelled Charles Handy; now he has left the world of work and turned his mind to the world of the spirit. Not so much a career move, more an act of faith.

Company directors pocket pay rises of 16 per cent

Company directors are receiving average pay increases of 16 per cent, more than four times higher than the percentage increases going to most workers, according to a report published today. The union-funded Labour Research Department (LRD), which conducted the study, accused quoted companies of "turning a deaf ear" to the recommendations of the Greenbury Committee.

Leading Article: Money, myth and hard reality

Wednesday 16 September 1992 - the day that Britain was driven out of the ERM - is Black Wednesday to anyone who thinks that the loss of about pounds 4bn spent trying to defend sterling when it was a lost cause is an intolerable failure of economic management. But those who call it the day the economic recovery began colour it White. A good case can be made for both; perhaps we should call it Black and White Wednesday. It is also remembered as the day a Wall Street financier named George Soros made a killing. Thus the Guardian yesterday wrote of Soros that he "is famously credited with forcing Britain out of the ERM ... making pounds 1bn".

Gamble on prices costs Soros $70m

George Soros, the billionaire speculator and philanthropist, has suffered a $70m (pounds 44m) loss gambling on the BT/MCI merger, writes Chris Godsmark. Mr Soros is one of a number of high profile speculators and arbitrageurs to have been left with huge paper losses after gambling on the MCI and BT share prices.

What you can buy for a trillion dollars

Two little items from the last few days' papers. One is that Bill Gates, head of Microsoft, looks like becoming the world's first trillionaire - a personal fortune of more than $1,000 billion - in the next seven years, or so calculates The New York Times. The other, from the Mirror, reports that there are now 130,000 sterling millionaires in Britain and that there will be 200,000 by 2000.

EMU delays could be costly

With just 500 days to go until the creation of a European single currency, UK companies run a risk of missing the January 1999 deadline with "potentially devastating consequences", according to Cap Gemini, the European computer services and consultancy group.

Indonesia rocked by currency collapse

Indonesia yesterday succumbed to the attacks of speculators and allowed its currency, the rupiah, to devalue on the foreign exchange markets, the third such victim of the financial turmoil which has shaken South- East Asian economies in the last six weeks.

LETTER : France is no disaster - yet

Sir Mario Vargas Llosa's schadenfreude at France's current predicament ("The disaster striking France", 20 June) seems both naive and misguided.

I had entered a world where my notional prosperity would rise and fall with a baffling choppiness

Like quite a lot of people I became a Halifax shareholder earlier this month - a status automatically conferred by the possession of a savings account. And like quite a lot of people I had been lured by the rising scent of a windfall into the unfamiliar terrain of the financial pages, where I had been informed by almost every authority that the canny thing to do was to make sure that I got the paperwork into my own hands. So, feeling as sly as George Soros on a bad day for the pound, I ticked the relevant boxes and sent off my envelope. But what all those journalists had failed to inform me was that I was also entering a world in which nothing quite made sense, in which my notional prosperity would rise and fall with a baffling choppiness. The Halifax might have added some money to my life but it had also added a new plot in which anxiety could flourish.

Soros fund manager in bid for Plantation

George Soros, Rupert Pennant-Rea and the Rwandan civil war were bizarrely thrown together yesterday by a boardroom coup at an obscure London-quoted plantation company.

New York Brits join Pravda party

If you couldn't be on the South Bank yesterday for the Tony Blair victory rally, Pravda, South of Houston - better known as SoHo - was a reasonable alternative. There was no rocking with Neil Kinnock, but we did have Bianca.

Letter: The party won't go quietly

Andy Beckett's article on the Referendum Party carries the aroma of wish fulfilment ("Not even Jim can fix it now", 23 February). The only poll he mentions is by MORI, taken over eight months ago when the party had barely formed. It showed 0.5 per cent support. The poll published last week by James Capel was taken from 2,000 people nationwide who voted Conservative in 1992; 20 per cent said they were likely or certain to vote for the Referendum Party. A poll carried out in February by Harris for the Wirral South by-election showed 9 per cent support.
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