Hungarian-born Jewish billionaire George Soros predicted Thursday that Donald Trump will fail at his presidency and unleash uncertainty on markets.
“I personally am convinced that he’s going to fail,” Soros said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “Not because of people like me who would like him to fail, but because the ideas that guide him are inherently self contradictory. And the contradictions are actually already embodied by his advisors. He has three chiefs of staff instead of one … and therefore you’ll have the various establishments fighting with each other.”
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Soros, who founded Soros Fund Management LLC and now is chairman of the New York-based firm, was a large contributor to the super PAC backing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and had donated to other groups supporting Democrats.
In Davos, Soros lashed out against Trump as a “an impostor and con-man and a would-be dictator,” but predicted he would not succeed in destroying the pillars of American democracy.
“I’m confident that the Constitution and the institutions of the United States are strong enough, the division of power is in operation. And he would be dictator if he could get away with it, but he won’t be able to.”
Asked what Trump’s victory means for the US economy, Soros said, “uncertainty is at a peak. Because it’s impossible to predict exactly how Trump is going to act because he hasn’t actually thought it through. He didn’t expect to win … And it’s really only when he got elected that he started seriously to think about what he’s going to do.”
Soros reversed a previous position, in which he said the European Union was “facing disintegration.”
“That was a slight exaggeration,” he conceded. “Because neither Putin nor China want Europe to disintegrate. Each has their own reasons. China needs Europe as a market. Putin needs Europe to provide the capacity to produce something … But coming under the dominance of Putin’s Russia would be a destruction, undermining all the values that Europe stands for, so it’s really not much better.”
Soros is a powerful philanthropist and bankrolls NGOs in Hungary through his Open Society Foundations. He has pledged to continue funding groups despite hostility from the Hungarian government.
He cautioned in Switzerland that the model of leaders manipulating their people to serve their own purposes “is on the rise” in Russia, China, “and many other countries, including my own … I hope we can get people who believe in an open society to get it together and defend the principles of open society.”