On the eve of Trump’s inauguration as president, Soros delivered a scathing assessment, saying the “impostor and con-man” was “gearing up for a trade war” which would have “a very far-reaching effect in Europe and other parts of the world”.
The “would-be-dictator … didn’t expect to win, he was surprised”, Soros told an audience of business leaders and journalists in Davos where the World Economic Forum is being held.
“I personally have confidence that he’s going to fail … because his ideas that guide him are inherently self-contradictory,” added Soros, who was a supporter of Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton during the 2016 US presidential election campaign.
Soros said he expected financial markets to “not do very well” because of the uncertainty generated by the Trump administration.
On Theresa May and Brexit, Soros predicted economic upheaval in Britain and substantial difficulties in bringing about a clean break with the European Union – and the prospect of the UK quickly joining again or entering a successor arrangement once the referendum mandate of leaving the EU was fulfilled.
“In my opinion it is unlikely that prime minister May is actually going to remain in power. Already she has a very divided cabinet, a very small majority in parliament. And I think she will not last,” he said.
“At the moment the people in the UK are in denial. The current economic situation is not as bad as was predicted and they live in hope. But as the currency depreciates, and inflation will be the driving force, this will lead to declining living standards.
“This is going to take some time, but when it does happen they’ll realise that they are earning less than before because wages won’t rise as fast as the cost of living.
“The divorce is going to take a very long time. It’s much harder to divorce than to get married, so I think the desire for rapprochement will develop, and in theory or maybe even in practice you could have a situation in 2019 or 2020 when Britain will leave the EU, because it does have to take place, but they could leave on a Friday but join over the weekend and have the new arrangement in place in Monday morning.”