No such abstract financial instruments could exist and no George Soros could acquire wealth in trading them if there were not a real economy somewhere out there. An economy where people spend a decent day’s work to do/create something which is of enough value to others so that they pay them a salary and/or price for their products and services.
The only difference between George Soros and someone like Gordon Gekko is that Mr. Soros is an exceptionally well-educated man, a very cultured person and probably someone with a (guilty?) conscience. If not the latter, he wouldn’t feel the need to give some money back to the society which enabled him to take it away from it.
Should Gordon Gekko be a role model for the next generation? I guess everyone would agree that not. Should George Soros be a role model? If yes, then only because he has better education, more culture and better manners than Gordon Gekko. But as far as the substance is concerned, he is no different from Gordon Gekko. Gordon Gekko would have driven a lot of airline employees into unemployment. George Soros caused a lot of financial loss to a lot of British and damaged British feelings of dignity like few others in modern times.
It is quite amazing how much publicity is given to this aged man. DER SPIEGEL published an interview with him where Soros prophesizes that Germany will be hated (as an American citizen, he should know best of all that being powerful and being hated often go hand in hand). The NYT just gave Soros the opportunity to announce that Germany must leave the Eurozone in order to save it. He had voiced that opinion before.
How about Warren Buffett as an alternative to George Soros. After all, Buffett, too, accumulated enormous wealth. The only difference is that Buffett did not make his money through the trading of abstract financial instruments which would not be possible without a real economy. Instead, Buffett made most of his money in the real economy by investing in value-creating businesses and giving them the financial resources to expand their businesses (and their value-creating…).
I think we would all be better off if the frontpages of financial media were occupied by the opinions of those potential role models who have indeed created tangible values for society. Who are they? They are the entrepreneurs and businessmen (and -women!) who have found a place between customer needs and their businesses’ capabilities to create new jobs. Jobs which allow their holders to support a decent standard of living; jobs which pay a fair amount of income taxes; jobs which enable the businesses to pay a fair amount of corporate taxes; and jobs which allow the owners of those businesses to pay a fair amount of dividend taxes! Finally, jobs which eventually allow the states to generate enough revenues to pay for all the services which they wish to provide to their societies.
Where are these role models? Only in Germany, perhaps? No, they are in EVERY society and I have no doubt about the fact that they are also in sufficient quantity in Greece!