Soros: US Is Already in Double-Dip Recession
Published: Thursday, 22 Sep 2011 | 1:51 AM ET Text Size
By: Reporting by Maria Bartiromo, Writing by Antonya Allen, CNBC.com
Billionaire investor George Soros said he believed the United States was already experiencing the pain of a double dip recession and that Republican opposition to Obama's fiscal stimulus plans was to blame for sluggish growth.
Asked by CNBC if he believed the US risks falling into a double-dip recession , Soror said: "I think we are in it already."
"We have a slowdown and basically a conflict about whether the rich ought to pay taxes to create jobs or not and there was a deal in the making which would have balanced the budget over the long term, but would have allowed short-term fiscal stimulus, which would have been the right policy," Soros said in an interview late Wednesday.
"That was rejected, it fell apart… so it will come to the electorate next year to decide what they want," he added.
Euro zone policymakers have repeatedly followed the wrong policy shifts, creating a situation in Europe "more dangerous" to the global financial system than the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, Soros said.
"It is a more dangerous situation [than Lehman Bros] and I think that the authorities, when push comes to shove, will do whatever it takes to hold the system together, because the alternative is just too terrible to contemplate," he added.
A number of smaller euro zone nations could default and leave the single currency area, Soros said, but he warned if it happened on an ad hoc basis, there would be considerable risk to the global economy.
"I think that you could have two or three of the small countries default or leave the euro provided it is prepared and done in an orderly way," Soros said.
"If it were to happen unprepared it could actually disrupt the global financial system, but that's why it's important to allow for it to happen and then those countries have a genuine choice it doesn't mean they are being pushed out."
Soros said he believed the so-called 'Troika' of the EU, ECB and IMF would release the next tranche of aid to heavily indebted Greece, but he stressed the creation of a European bailout fund would determine whether Greece received another bailout in December.