- Thomson Reuters
George Soros, the billionaire who earned fame by betting against the pound in 1992, didn’t short sterling ahead of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
“George Soros did not speculate against sterling while he was arguing for Britain to remain in the European Union,” a spokesman for Soros said on Monday. “In fact, he was long the British Pound leading up to the vote.”
His spokesman said Soros did profit from other bearish bets because of the Brexit result.
Soros, who made £1 billion betting against the pound on “Black Wednesday,” had said that after a British vote to exit the EU in a so-called Brexit, “the pound would fall by at least 15% and possibly more than 20%.”
The pound, which at one point fell over 10% against the US dollar to about $1.33, a 31-year low, was one of the most immediate market casualties of the vote to leave the EU. It was worst single-day drop ever for the currency.
On Black Wednesday – September 16, 1992 – the pound fell 4%. It had lost about 15% of its value by the end of the month.
Soros warned that the EU risked being broken up and that the UK economy would suffer.
“Britain eventually may or may not be relatively better off than other countries by leaving the EU, but its economy and people stand to suffer significantly in the short to medium term,” he wrote in a commentary on the website Project Syndicate.