Critics would be wise to never underestimate George Soros

George Soros has made a career out of being able to pick winners. Over a career spanning more than 45 years, Soros has racked up one of the winningest track records in the history of the capital markets. His funds have returned over 25 percent per annum, making him one of the greatest investors in human history.

But many people do not know that this incredible knack for getting it right also extends into his philanthropic activities. Soros has long been one of the most active philanthropists in the entire world, toppling governments, providing aid to the downtrodden and changing the world in ways that he perceives to maximize personal freedom.

Recently, Soros created quite a stir with his gigantic contribution to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. This represented a gigantic loss for Soros, a rarity among his investments. After having donated more than 25 million dollars Clinton campaign, Soros must have been deeply disappointed with the loss to a novice politician who is self-funded and had virtually no experience whatsoever in presidential politics. Read more at Politico about George Soros.

This donation generated a great deal of interest and made Soros look, perhaps, more reckless than he actually is. In fact, many close to Soros believe that made the donation with full knowledge that loss was likely, if not probable. However, critics would be well advised not to take this as exemplary of Soros’ philanthropic acumen.

Throughout the last decade, Soros has donated a great deal of money to much smaller and less well-publicized causes. One of these is his ongoing efforts to reform the U.S. criminal justice system, a project which he has long held dear. Throughout the country, Soros donated millions of dollars to individual prosecutorial races, propelling dozens of candidates to the one office that has the most power of any in the criminal justice system to effect change.

What’s most remarkable about this effort, which has accelerated over the last two years, is the stunning success rate that Soros has realized in his efforts to elect reform-minded prosecutors to local office. George Soros has long understood that one of most effective ways to reform the criminal justice system is from within. This bottom-up approach to things like reducing the disparities in sentencing, which disproportionately see minorities being sentenced to prison at rates far higher than their white counterparts, has proven dramatically successful. It’s just one in a long string of great successes that Soros has achieved through his philanthropic efforts.

For those who disagree with the way and which Soros goes about attempting to change society for the better, it is well advised to always keep in mind that a man who has racked up what is probably the most successful track record in the history of the markets is somebody who does not like to lose. Read more on NYTimes.com.