George Soros predicts ‘Black Friday’ if Britain leaves EUArchive
LONDON: Billionaire George Soros, who famously profited by betting against the pound in a 1992 currency crisis, has predicted a plunge in the sterling if Britain votes to leave the European Union.
The business magnate forecast an even steeper drop than occurred on “Black Wednesday”, which forced Britain to withdraw from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, in an article in the Guardian newspaper published late Monday.
“If Britain leaves the EU it will have at least one very clear and immediate effect that will touch every household: the value of the pound would decline precipitously,” the 85-year-old wrote.
He estimated a drop for the currency of at least 15 per cent.
“Then ironically one pound would be worth about one euro — a method of ‘joining the euro’ that nobody in Britain would want,” Soros added.
The pro-Brexit side have accused “Remain” campaigners of scare tactics by arguing that a vote to leave the European Union on Thursday would damage Britain’s economy.
Soros warned that leaving the European Union would lower house prices and cause job losses, potentially causing a recession.
One of the world’s richest men according to Forbes magazine, Soros warned that powerful “speculative forces” would be “eager to exploit any miscalculations by the British government or British voters”.
“A vote for Brexit would make some people very rich — but most voters considerably poorer,” Soros wrote.
“A vote to leave could see the week end with a Black Friday, and serious consequences for ordinary people.”
After earlier surveys indicated narrow gains for the “Remain” camp, global markets rallied and the pound rose to a three-month peak.
But the latest polls published ahead of the June 23 vote suggest the result could go either way.
Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2016