How did he make his billions? Having survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary, Soros studied at the LSE before heading for New York. In 1969, he founded the Quantum Fund, one of the US's first hedge funds, aiming to finance his life as author and philosopher. His target: $500k. He did a little better than that. He made $1bn on Black Wednesday in '92, selling short $10bn of British sterling. He later predicted the current recession. And he's caused concern by betting against the pound since, cleaning up before the markets collapsed.
The secret of his success? 'I'm only rich because I know when I'm wrong,' he says. But Soros longs to be remembered as a thinker. He says his life is driven by 'reflexivity', which highlights the loop created between people's beliefs and actions. He applies the theory to the markets too, to the disbelief of many economists.