George Soros Says Wall Street Won’t Decide the 2020 Election

George Soros Says Wall Street Won’t Decide the 2020 Election


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Mr. Soros has views that gain him enemies — and he appears to like it. Andrew sat down with the billionaire philanthropist, former trader and liberal champion in his New York City apartment to talk about next year’s elections, taxing the rich and putting Wall Street in its place.

Mr. Soros likes Senator Elizabeth Warren’s chances of becoming the Democratic nominee, saying that she has “emerged as the clear-cut person to beat.” (Though he didn’t go as far as endorsing her as a candidate.)

“I am in favor of taxing the rich,” he said, “including a wealth tax.” That lines up with one of Ms. Warren’s central policies, but Mr. Soros acknowledges that his view “does create a moral problem for me.” He added: “As I became so successful, it basically put a self-imposed constraint on me that actually interfered with making money.”

And he says Wall Street will have little sway in this election cycle. “There are more Main Streets in America than there are Wall Streets,” he said. “So I don’t think that Wall Street, other than being a source of money, will have its way in choosing the president.”

On China, he considers Xi Jinping “the worst threat to an open society.” He added: “It’s a different system. It’s totally opposed to ours, diametrically opposed to ours.” (Though he added: “I’m not anti-Chinese at all. I’m just anti Xi Jinping.”)

If his views make him enemies, so be it. “I’m very proud of the enemies I have,” he said. “It’s a perfect way to tell a dictator or a would-be dictator if he identifies me as an enemy.”

SoftBank has saved the co-working company from imminent financial disaster. But repairing its business model will be a tough task, Peter Eavis of the NYT writes.

• “Pentagon officials encouraged chip executives to consider new production lines for semiconductors in the United States,” Mr. Clark reports, citing unnamed sources.

• But “influencing the chip industry used to be easier when the Defense Department accounted for a major portion of chip sales. Now defense applications are dwarfed by civilian uses, such as smartphones and personal computers.”

• A case in point: Mark Liu, the chairman of the chip maker TSMC, which dominates the build-to-order chip market, told Mr. Clark that he had recently discussed options for a new factory in America with the Commerce Department. But a big stumbling block is money, with TSMC saying that major subsidies would be required.

That defied expectations, and shares in the company fell about 8 percent in after-hours trading.

It’s a result of Amazon’s investing in the growth of its core businesses instead of collecting profits. A big part of that is rolling out one-day shipping across the U.S. — a push that could cost it $1.5 billion in the next quarter — along with pumping money into its cloud computing services to increase sales, especially to larger businesses.

This shouldn’t be a surprise. Until 2017, Amazon consistently focused on growth rather than profits. And since then it has posted profits only sporadically, in quarters that didn’t include huge new initiatives or experiments.

But Wall Street remained unhappy all the same. “Who needs Cheetos that fast?” Sucharita Kodali, an analyst at Forrester Research, asked of Amazon’s one-day delivery service.

More: Amazon’s tumbling share price will mean that Jeff Bezos has relinquished the title of world’s richest person to Bill Gates. For now, at least.

Rob Ritchie will step down as the head of U.K. investment banking for HSBC.

Fair, a car-leasing start-up backed by SoftBank, will lay off close to 300 people, about 40 percent of its employees.

Deals

• Barneys is moving ahead with a potential sale to Authentic Brands, which could lead to the retailer’s liquidation — though it’s still holding out hope that a rival bidder will make a formal takeover offer. (NYT)

• The Trump administration has temporarily blocked transactions involving bonds from Citgo, giving the Venezuela-owned oil producer a temporary financial lifeline. (NYT)



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