Finance legend George Soros yesterday called President Barack Obama’s plan to clampdown on banks premature and said it was uncertain whether China would beat asset bubbles building up in its economy.
“The jury is out,” he said of China’s efforts to contain high property prices and credit, while adding his voice to calls for China to revalue its currency.
But the man who made billions from currency speculation devoted much of his annual meeting with journalists in Davos to efforts to contain banks after the financial crisis which he said had been caused by a “super bubble”.
Soros said the US administration’s plan to restrict the size of top US banks and make them pay billions in special taxes was too little and too soon. “I am very supportive of it but I don’t think it goes far enough,” he told a lunch with reporters that he holds every year in Davos.
“This development came too soon because the banks are not out of the woods,” Soros added.
The Obama plan to stop commercial banks speculating for their own accounts would lead big banks to spin off their investment. “These investment banks will be very substantial and they will be too big to fail.”
Soros said there needed to be global regulation of the international financial system. He said bankers who rejected extra regulation were “tone deaf”.
Soros said the campaign against asset bubbles “is a major test for the Chinese government”. China should also let its currency appreciate, he added.
Keep up with the latest business news from the region with the Emirates Business 24|7 daily newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.