Sunday, May 1, 2011

"So George Soros walks into the Cato Institute, and.... "

From Reason:

Politics has made George Soros Dumber
So George Soros walks into the Cato Institute, and....
No really–George Soros walked into the Cato Institute yesterday, along with libertarian legal super-academic Richard Epstein, preeminent F.A. Hayek scholar Bruce Caldwell, and moderator Ronald Hamowy, to discuss and debate Hayek, particularly his The Constitution of Liberty, a new edition of which (edited by Hamowy) has just been brought out by the University of Chicago Press. You can watch it here...

...It might be news to some that Soros studied under and was profoundly influenced by Hayek's best friend, the Austrian classical liberal economist/philosopher Karl Popper, and in fact (as Soros said yesterday), sided with Hayek in some of the famous-for-economics pre-war debates between the two econo-pals over methodology and principle. Before shifting his non-investment spending focus on "regime change" in America during George W. Bush's first term, Soros' main contributions to applied economic philosophy were creating Economics and Philosophy departments at his Central European University (at which much Austrian econ can be found), and flogging his own Popper-derived "Theory of Reflexivity" to explain how irrational market actors working with incomplete information create feedback loops that produce bubbles, instability, and (most importantly to his own life, though not to the success of propagating his philosophy) excellent investment opportunities. The puzzle for those of us who've been watching the guy for two decades is how Soros could travel so decisively from Popper and Hayek to a startlingly reactionary stance against "market fundamentalism."....MUCH MORE