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How George Soros Lost Money In a Bad Brexit Bet

George Soros Speaks About The EuroGeorge Soros Speaks About The Euro
Billionaire investor George Soros speaks on "The Tragedy of the European Union" as a guest of The Institute for Media and Communications Policy on September 10, 2012 in Berlin, Germany.Photograph by Sean Gallup — Getty Images

Perhaps George Soros should go back into retirement.

It appears the 85-year-old lost money betting that the British pound would rise in the wake of the Brexit vote. A Soros spokesperson confirm to Bloomberg that the octogenarian’s fund was “long” the pound even after the vote. The fact that Soros lost money betting on the pound is surprising not only because he famously made a billion dollars “breaking the pound” back in 1992, but also because he predicting a drop in the sterling would happen.

Last week, Soros made headlines by saying that the pound would plunge in value if the British citizens voted for a so-called Brexit, or leaving the European Union. They did. And the pound did plunge, as Soros predicted. But it appears the legendary hedge fund manager didn’t follow his own advice. Earlier this month, it was reported that Soros had recently come out of retirement because he saw a lot of money to be made betting against the global economy.

Nonetheless, the pound is one bearish bet Soros appears not to have made. “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.”

It’s unclear why Soros didn’t follow his own advice. It could be because, like most others, he didn’t think a Brexit was likely. Soros might not have wanted to seem like he was trying to profit from his dire warnings of what would happen if the Brexit vote prevailed, as it did.

Still, the misstep isn’t likely to dent the billionaire banking account. It appears his other bearish bets against the economy made up for what Soros lost on the pound. “However, because of his generally bearish outlook on world markets, Mr. Soros did profit from other investments,” the spokesman said.