George Soros: We Need More Stimulus to Avoid a Second Recession

by: Kirk Lindstrom

Monday Maria Bartiromo interviewed George Soros on CNBC's "Closing Bell." Soros said he expects the global economic slowdown to continue into 2011 and we need more fiscal stimulus to avoid a second recession. He also thinks extending the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy is a mistake. Summary of his Key comments.

  • The recession has been shorter and shallower than it would have been had the countries not worked together to provide economic stimulus.

  • We are in danger of a second slowdown unless we get more fiscal stimulus which political debate is making near impossible.

  • Extending the Bush tax cuts for the top two percent is a bad idea because in the long term "we need a prosperous economy." Short term, it would help him but he believes in the long term it is the wrong thing to do since we need to pay for fiscal stimulus.

  • Extending Bush tax cuts to the middle class, those making under $250,000, is the "right thing to do."

  • Governments need to prevent a "currency war."

  • China has to move on its current currency position. Says China's capital controls allows it to control their currency and others. So China is now the dominant factor in how other currencies move so they can put pressure on Japan but Japan can not buy currency of China which makes it unfair.

  • The developed markets and China are slowing down.

  • Soros says it is "tragic" that the Republicans want to satisfy their contributors who want a tax cut rather than the general good of the public. He seems amazed "they managed to get the whole public to buy into it."

  • "I follow Greece very closely." He says Greece is succeeding with very harsh steps.

  • "The Euro is here to stay." Says a rescue mechanism, that they now have, was the missing ingredient.

It is interesting to see so many of the super wealthy including Buffett, Gates and now Soros, say they don't need a tax cut and they agree with president Obama that the middle class defined as those making less than $250,000 should get the tax cut.

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