George Soros, the billionaire hedge-fund manager who has broken the British pound and some Republican hearts, is betting that the U.S. stock market could break, too.
Soros Fund Management had $1.3 billion wagered at the end of 2013 that the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index would fall, the Bullion Baron blog reported last week, citing the fund’s latest regulatory filing. It was Soros’ biggest position, making up 11 percent of his fund’s holdings.
The filing is a snapshot of Soros’ position at the end of the fourth quarter of 2013. He might have raised or lowered that bet since then. He might also be using the position to hedge some other bet. He’s certainly not going to tell us. Closing out the bet would have made some sense in the middle of February, after the S&P had fallen more than 5 percent for the year.
But Soros definitely jacked up the bet going into the end of the year, to $1.3 billion from $470 million in the third quarter. And just last month he warned about risks to the global economy, mainly from China.
Soros is maybe most famous, or infamous, these days for being sort of the liberal version of the Koch Brothers — a wealthy guy pumping millions into progressive candidates and causes.