From what we understand, it is notoriously difficult to catch George Soros speaking. So, we’re glad that Soros decided to upload this video of a speech he gave at the Festival of Economics in Trento Italy in June.
In case you forgot, the transcript went viral and people went crazy over it.
It’s a lengthy talk. Joe Weisenthal read the transcript and reported on it. Here are two key points that should get you ready for the video:
His key warning:
In my judgment the authorities have a three months’ window during which they could still correct their mistakes and reverse the current trends. By the authorities I mean mainly the German government and the Bundesbank because in a crisis the creditors are in the driver’s seat and nothing can be done without German support.
He ends with a plea:
We need to do whatever we can to convince Germany to show leadership and preserve the European Union as the fantastic object that it used to be. The future of Europe depends on it.
Now, here’s the video via YouTube:
Again, the video is lengthy. But Weisenthal pulled the meatiest part of Soros’ speech for you:
I contend that the European Union itself is like a bubble. In the boom phase the EU was what the psychoanalyst David Tuckett calls a “fantastic object” – unreal but immensely attractive. The EU was the embodiment of an open society –an association of nations founded on the principles of democracy, human rights, and rule of law in which no nation or nationality would have a dominant position.
The process of integration was spearheaded by a small group of far sighted statesmen who practiced what Karl Popper called piecemeal social engineering. They recognised that perfection is unattainable; so they set limited objectives and firm timelines and then mobilized the political will for a small step forward, knowing full well that when they achieved it, its inadequacy would become apparent and require a further step. The process fed on its own success, very much like a financial bubble. That is how the Coal and Steel Community was gradually transformed into the European Union, step by step.
Germany used to be in the forefront of the effort. When the Soviet empire started to disintegrate, Germany’s leaders realised that reunification was possible only in the context of a more united Europe and they were willing to make considerable sacrifices to achieve it. When it came to bargaining they were willing to contribute a little more and take a little less than the others, thereby facilitating agreement. At that time, German statesmen used to assert that Germany has no independent foreign policy, only a European one.
The process culminated with the Maastricht Treaty and the introduction of the euro. It was followed by a period of stagnation which, after the crash of 2008, turned into a process of disintegration. The first step was taken by Germany when, after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, Angela Merkel declared that the virtual guarantee extended to other financial institutions should come from each country acting separately, not by Europe acting jointly. It took financial markets more than a year to realise the implication of that declaration, showing that they are not perfect.