The Man with the Midas Touch

Robin Hood or robber baron? The two faces of superspeculator GEORGE SOROS, who humbles central banks as he strives to save Eastern Europe

What does George Soros know that the rest of the world doesn't? When news leaked out that he had purchased a $400 million stake in the largest U.S. gold-mining company, investors piled into the market, pushing the price of the precious metal to a 17-month high two weeks ago. Last week gold soared to a two-year high. Was Soros betting on a new era of inflation caused by governments' printing their way out of debt? Was he hedging against some looming financial Armageddon?

Soros the Speculator was not saying, but in a sense it didn't matter. The mere fact that he...

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