George Soros, one of the world's most successful speculators and richest men, has come as close as anyone to personifying the spread of global capitalism and the power of international financial markets. So, in 1998, when he wrote a book predicting the imminent "disintegration of the global capitalist system," his views caused quite a stir.
Two years later, the global economy is still kicking, and, in a new book, Mr. Soros, who turns 70 years old today, is taking back his grave forecasts.
"Basically, I got carried away in thinking that the system might actually collapse," he said, in an interview. "I goofed." ...
In his new book, "Open Society: From Global Capitalism to Global Democracy" (PublicAffairs Press), Mr. Soros explains that he was wrong to worry that international capitalism might soon destroy itself. But he stands by his admonition that unchecked capitalism threatens freedom and democracy around the world. And he is sticking with the delicate philosophical distinction that enables him in good conscience to continue exploiting the same financial markets he vilifies.
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