Reader Notice

Dear Patient Readers,

Yves has told me that she has had NO internet connection at the the Institute for New Economic Thinking conference in Cambridge until just recently. She really should be spending time in the sessions – which is why she hasn’t posted yet. She has informed me that she may be able to put up a short post tonight, but she wants  to catch up on e-mails first.

As for the conference, she says:

They keep us in session from 8AM till past 10PM, this is NO easy conference!

And here I thought she was living the Oxbridge high life!

Also, for those of you based in London, please note that Yves will post the London meetup details later this evening.

Thanks a ton!


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About Edward Harrison

I am a banking and finance specialist at the economic consultancy Global Macro Advisors. Previously, I worked at Deutsche Bank, Bain, the Corporate Executive Board and Yahoo. I have a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College and an MBA in Finance from Columbia University. As to ideology, I would call myself a libertarian realist - believer in the primacy of markets over a statist approach. However, I am no ideologue who believes that markets can solve all problems. Having lived in a lot of different places, I tend to take a global approach to economics and politics. I started my career as a diplomat in the foreign service and speak German, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish and French as well as English and can read a number of other European languages. I enjoy a good debate on these issues and I hope you enjoy my blogs. Please do sign up for the Email and RSS feeds on my blog pages. Cheers. Edward


  1. Dan Duncan

    14 hours a day at “conference” sponsored by George Soros on New Economic Thinking….

    Color me concerned.

    Have you actually been to this New Economic Programming Website? All I can glean from it is that Soros spent $50 million to promote “New Paradigms and Initiatives”. Oh yeah, and it’s also going to “expand the conversation”…whatever the hell that means.

    Edward, next time you speak with Yves, please be sure to pass along the following, straight from “”:

    “The main methods of cult recruitment revolve around deception and manipulation. Potential recruits are not told the true nature or intentions of the group. Instead, recruiters portray it as something mainstream, low-pressure and benign. They may tell people at a church gathering that their group meets once a week to brainstorm ways to raise money for a new homeless shelter. They might invite a high school student to a talk about how public service can enhance a college application. Recruiters identity the specific needs or desires of their targets and play to them. They learn to pick up on a person’s fears and vulnerabilities and portray the cult accordingly.”

    1. Chicken Little

      Ah, paternalism. So much chafing at being the paternalee, so much zealousness at being the paternalor.

      1. Dan Duncan

        Yeah…um…Chicken Little,

        Please avoid the use of such the sexist term, “Paternalism”. It’s offensive.

        We prefer a more gender-neutral designation. Try “Non-Sex-Specific-Parentalism”.

        In the future, please try to be more sensitive. Thanks so much!

        1. LeeAnne

          Hedge funds in general are not the culprits in finance exposing their scorched earth criminal practices and crimes against humanity.

          It is the job of hedge funds to arbitrage opportunities in the markets. An honest regime would use these markets to discover gaps in the system and plug up the loop holes. That’s not possible when the finance system is one big lawless cabal answerable only to each other.

          Hedge funds are not known to lobby government for the purpose of tearing down the legal system created that had protected the public and the economy from banker rapaciousness. Bankers and corporations acting like banks are known to have done and continue to do precisely that.

          George Soros gained national attention when he backed US drug prohibition reform at great risk to himself and his fortune. He has supported open government all over the world.

          You’d do well to take him seriously as a patriot rather than use this blog as a megaphone for his enemies in the shadow government of drugs, guns, money laundering, transnational small wars and insurgencies.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Oh, Heaven’s Gate of the Peoples’ Temple! Yes, Yves, do be careful and watch out for that deadly Kool-Aid. Soros has not only openly criticized militarism and gloabalization, contrary to revealed neoclassical truth, but even proposed the dangerous idea that economic policy include social purpose. Shocking yes! Among many heresies Soros has posted to the church doors are the following examples of seditition and blasphemy, which challenge the very foundations of the new world odor.

      In ‘The Bubble of American Supremacy’ (2004): “The war on terror is a false metaphor that has led to counterproductive and self-defeating policies.”

      In ‘What Orwell Didn’t Know’ (2007): “…there are some disturbing signs that the propaganda methods Orwell described in his novel have taken root in contemporary America. What I find most troubling is that the American people seem so susceptible to manipulation. The outstanding example is the War on Terror, which has imposed a false and misleading interpretation of the threat presented by the terrorist attack of 9/11.”

      In ‘Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism’ (2000): “We can speak about the triumph of capitalism in the world, but we cannot yet speak about the triumph of democracy. There is a serious mismatch between the political and the economic conditions that prevail…Perhaps the greatest threat to freedom and democracy …today [2000] comes from the formation of unholy alliances between government and business….It used to be called fascism.”

      “All this is almost too obvious to be stated, yet it needs to said because there is a widely held creed that the markets will take care of all our needs. It use to be called “lassez-faire”…but I have found a better name for it: market fundamentalism. Market fundamentalists hold that the public interest is best served when people are allowed to pursue teir own interests…but it is only half ture. Markets are eminently suitable for the pursuit of private intersts, but they are not designed to take care of the common interest.”

      Dangerous ideas like these may require a period of deprogramming upon your return, say, weeks of rehabilitation at the American Enterprise Institute.

      1. Uncle Billy Cunctator

        Clever, but watch what he does, not what he says. He’s very good at saying all the right things, as he was when he was collecting valuables for the Nazis. (Maybe he’s still doing this).

    3. Moonbeam McSwine

      They told me in Jesus bible class that George Soros is the antichrist, that he will lure me with money and glamor and his big meaty hungarian nipples to the burning lair of Satan. Perhaps you can fix me up with this Monshur Soros because he has money and power unlike all the pudgy flassid loser republicans I meet who wish they could Bust the Bank of England and take over the world but they cain’t so they just work in some shit job and kiss ass all day and if they don’t meet their challanging ass-kissing quotas they gets canned and weep in sadness for their pathetic fearful lives like Danny Duncan my old boyfriend who I cruelly dumped.

  2. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Thrilled Yves is in Cambridge and helping shape the New Whatever. God only knows the Old TBTF Idiocy hasn’t worked well. And I do love the extra entertainment value of reading comments from people who presumably have not read Soros, but love to bash him, almost ‘reflexively’.

  3. dearieme

    Cambridge was at its Spring best today – the air warm, College buildings glowing in the sun, the lawns lush, flowers and blossom everywhere, the river alive with youngsters. Poor old Yves.

  4. kulicuu

    Soros cultivates a liberal intellectual image quite assiduously. Recently I’ve been thinking that he was actually John le Carre’s model(by allegory) for the agent provocateur in Absolute Friends. The rich Greek.
    Soros has (especially in the late 90’s) had quite a few cults-of-personality built up around him. Very attractive to ‘progressives’, as a psycho-social type. Actually he is a very complicated figure, no doubt much more complicated than I could credit given how little I know about him. …I do recall spending an hour or so watching online video of him giving a lecture on his ‘philosophy’ of “reflexivity” and being utterly dumbfounded as to how asinine the whole thing was. I couldn’t tell if he took it seriously himself, or if there was some kind of neuro-linguistic play going on for people vulnerable to such tactics. Cult is exactly the word.
    I said this in another comment, but Engdahl claims Soros one of the players behind the sparking of the Greek drama.

  5. LeeAnne

    aw com’n. this is so deranged. Soros is a very successful independent finance guy. after he proved himself with that he put time, money, and energy into his interest in better government.

    knowing US drug prohibition for the profitable racket it is he supported drug prohibition reform and harm reduction programs with shared needles for addicts in Russia and in this country at great risk to himself. the same puritanical middle-class jerks we have in this country exist everywhere –belief in punishment and intrusion into the private lives of others -for crst sake. building up criminal justice assets through forfeiture laws coalesces around drug prohibition all over the world among the 191 countries who are signatories to US prohibition policy eager to exercise police power over their own people.

    or maybe you didn’t know its risky to openly oppose US Treasury Department drug prohibition policy. Clean needles for drug addicts is a proven method to prevent dreaded deadly disease from spreading to other addicts as well as innocents like babies in the womb and mothers who are not always informed before they are infected. Or maybe you didn’t know that exists.

    Well its not your fault. you wouldn’t know anything from news in this country controlled by Rupert Murdoch, the maddest of the mad control freaks and not even a citizen of this country who has managed to blackmail TPTB and bribe the powerful into destruction of anti-trust rules designed to prevent exactly what has now happened to the free press that is so important to democracy that the law creating our free press is embedded in the first amendment of our constitution –”…the right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, …”

    A corporate press owned by one man is not a free fkn press. that’s why you don’t know what you’re talking about. All you get are government press releases in the ‘news’ media.

    Soros understands social currents and has a social conscience. therefore he understands as anyone who looks closely enough that US/UN transnational drug prohibition policy is a racket –one that destroys communities and good government everywhere and harasses young people in particular who fill our prisons so spectacularly that US prisons have been a privatized growth industry for some time -so what’s your problem?

    I think of him as trying to puncture the obtuseness and self-hypnosis of the economics profession for the sake of a better society. I’d like to see him wrestle the false prophets of the economics’ academy right down to the ground where they so cavalierly put everyone else.

    But tactics like that won’t work to the benefit of society. Soros is attempting an almost impossible job. That of trying to get these guys to develop and have the courage to use some common sense –come out of their collective comas if you will. I wish him well.

    At least you admit to knowing next to nothing about him.

    1. Edward Harrison Post author

      Well said, LeeAnne. This whole Soros conspiracy talk was absolute rubbish.

      Commenters on this blog sometimes bitch and moan about people not actually doing anything. So, here’s Soros actually trying to do something, mobilizing time, money and people for change.

      And then you get people making rubbish remarks divining his true intent as if they knew the man. How the hell are we actually going to achieve anything in the US when you have apathetic jokers ridiculing efforts at reform but adding no value of their own.

      It’s absolute nonsense.

      1. Andrew Bissell

        My problem is that Soros appears to be advocating a lot of “solutions” which are basically tired retreads of the exact policies which have already helped bring us to this point: inflationism and currency devaluation, expanded public debt levels to take the place of private debt (as opposed to putting the costs of bad lending where they belong via unsubsidized restructuring, modification and default), continued bailouts and liquidity backstops, and more vigorous central banking with an even more powerful mandate to intervene in asset markets.

        I have absolutely no problem with the man making great deals of money through skilled speculation.

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