Soros, whose latest book, “The Crash of 2008 and What it Means,” has made prescient calls during the current credit crisis.
Exactly one year ago, he told Reuters that global losses are likely to top $1 trillion from the credit crisis. To date, U.S. and European banks have recorded more than $700 billion in losses and write-downs, as of Feb. 5. 2009, according to Reuters data.
Soros also said the U.S. dollar is under selling pressure and may eventually be replaced as a world reserve currency, possibly by the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights, a synthetic currency basket comprised of dollars, euros, yen and sterling.
“I think the dollar is now under question and I think the system will need to be reformed, so that the United States will be subject to the same discipline as is imposed on other countries,” said Soros, whose famous bet against the British pound earned his Quantum Fund $1 billion in 1992. “Being the main issuer of international currency, we have been exempt and we have abused that because we have effectively consumed 6.5 percent more than we have produced. That is now coming to an end.”
China recently proposed greater use of Special Drawing Rights, possibly as an eventual global reserve currency. “In the long run, having an international accounting unit rather than the dollar may, in fact, be to our advantage so we can’t splurge—you know, it felt very good for 25 years but now we are paying a very heavy price,” Soros said.