Why Soros is against big regulation

George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management, listens during a debate at the World Economic Forum in January 2008.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Bill Radke: We continue our special coverage of the World Economic Forum happening in Davos, Switzerland. The big news there today -- Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda announced a commitment of $10 billion over the next decade to research new vaccines and bring them to the world's poorest countries. The overall theme in Davos this week is rebuilding the global economy. With me now from Davos, Switzerland, is investor and philanthropist George Soros, thank you for joining us.

George Soros: My pleasure.

Radke: You've been to many, at least 10 of these World Economic Forums in Davos. How is the conversation different this year?

Soros: I would say it's quite somber. I mean people realize that the global economy is in a bad state and there isn't a great deal of optimism.

Radke: I understand that you've been a part of some very testy conversations in Davos about the dangers of bank regulation.

Soros: Right.

Radke: What's your concern?

Soros: Look, I'm not advocating extensive regulations because regulations are also imperfect, not only markets. But regulators are even more imperfect than markets because they are bureaucratic and what is worse -- they are subject to political pressures. You see, it's unfortunate the way things have worked out. That in fact, this pressure for regulation is driven by anger. It should not be. It should be something much calmer and more rational.

Radke: You warn against anger and emotion, Mr. Soros. But I associate you with political passion. Are you not emotional about this financial mess?

Soros: Well I am emotional in the sense that I would like to see the public interest prevail because we do need regulation, but they don't need to be punitive because that would hurt us in the long term.

Radke: George Soros, chair of Soros Fund Management. It's a pleasure having you.

Soros: Very good.

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