Few people cross the boundaries between the worlds of politics, finance, and philanthropy with as much impact and controversy as George Soros. This multi-billionaire investor, philanthropist and author is famous for at least three reasons.
First, Soros is, "the Man Who Broke the Bank of England", who speculated on the Pound Sterling, and earned more than US$1 billion in the process. He has also been accused of negatively affecting regional currencies during the Asian financial crisis with his aggressive currency speculation.
Secondly, George Soros is an active philanthropist who is willing to use his money to fund causes that he believes in. Soros is the founder and chairman of the Open Society Institute, an organisation that supports activities in more than 50 countries worldwide. Born in Hungary, Soros has been especially active and influential in the countries of the former Eastern Europe, in their transition to free markets and democracy. Most recently and controversially, Soros was prominent in funding campaigns in the last USPresidential election against incumbent George Bush.
Thirdly, Soros is also the author of eight books on the economy and politics that strongly how states and people must respond to the globalised world. Indeed, he first entered the business world to fund his passion for writing and philosophy, and some feel his successes in business and philanthropy are merely expressions of his views on the world.
What are the key issues in the world today and how do they affect Asia? What are the challenges of globalization and how should governments, businesses and the financial community respond? What is happening that commands the attention of this multi-billionaire?