Bloomberg News

Soros Sees Germany in Recession by September Elections

April 09, 2013

Germany’s economy will probably be in a recession by elections scheduled for the end of September because monetary policy officials in the euro area aren’t providing the necessary stimulus, said billionaire investor George Soros.

“Germany itself remains relatively unaffected by the deepening depression that is enveloping the eurozone,” Soros said in a speech at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University in Frankfurt today. “I expect, however, that by the time of the elections, Germany will also be in recession.”

European leaders are seeking to exit their debt crisis by cutting spending while the European Central Bank has stopped short of outright bond-buying programs like those in the U.K. and U.S. Germany’s exports will probably suffer from lower demand in Europe and a weaker yen as the Bank of Japan joins peers in engaging in so-called quantitative easing, Soros said.

“The monetary policy pursued by the eurozone is out of sync with the other major currencies,” Soros said. “The others are engaged in quantitative easing. The Bank of Japan (8301) was the last holdout, but it changed sides recently.”

The BOJ said last week it will double the monetary base by the end of 2014 through purchases of government bonds, in Japan’s biggest-ever round of asset buying.

In July, ECB President Mario Draghi declared that central bank was prepared to buy unlimited quantities of government bonds if that meant saving the euro. At the same time, his pledge is tied to conditions so stringent that no country has yet asked him to print money on its behalf and the euro region’s economy is still mired in recession.

Soros also reiterated a call for Germany to back the issuance of joint debt by European countries to lower their borrowing costs or leave the euro area.

Germany “went too far” on pushing Cyprus to impose losses on depositors as part of a rescue for the country as European banks rely on savings as a source of funding and that could undermine the banking industry, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicholas Comfort in Frankfurt at ncomfort1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net


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