China officially issued a warning to George Soros: beware of going to “war on the renminbi.”
The message comes in a piece published in China’s People’s Daily, titled “Declaring war on China’s currency? Ha ha.”
People’s Daily is the Communist Party’s mouthpiece.
“Soros’s war on the renminbi and the Hong Kong dollar cannot possibly succeed — about this there can be no doubt,” the opinion piece by a commerce ministry researcher warned, according to the Financial Times.
This warning comes at time when China’s officials are trying hard to get everyone confident in the renminbi again. The currency has fallen by about 5.7% since August, when the People’s Bank of China first depreciated it.
Although Soros didn’t specifically mention either the renminbi or the Hong Kong dollar, he did emphasise that China was one of the “root causes” of the global bear market, and the country was probably looking at a hard landing.
“[T]he Chinese left it too long to address the changeover in the growth model that they have to adopt from — investment and export-led to domestic-led. So a hard landing is practically unavoidable,” he said.
Notably, this isn’t Soros’ first rodeo when it comes to currencies.
Back in 1992, he “cemented his reputation as the premier currency speculator in the world” after he “broke the Bank of England.”
At the time, the British government was trying to buoy its currency artificially in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) while Soros and some other speculators shorted the pound. The Brits ultimately withdrew from the ERM as they couldn’t keep the pound above its agreed lower limit. Soros made $1 billion on the deal.
Moreover, some have also blamed him for the speculative attacks against Asian currencies back in 1997 during the Asian financial crisis.
In any case, Soros doesn’t seem to be too optimistic about China — and China isn’t happy about it.