Forbes, 07 June 2015
Greek citizens voted against further austerity measures demanded by the Troika financing their rescue package, casting even more doubt on the country’s future as a member of the eurozone and throwing bond and currency markets into an uproar.
The euro has plunged from $1.20 to $1.09 this year (see chart). The feared unraveling of the currency – which, admittedly, would take a lot more than Greece’s departure – calls to mind another currency fiasco from the early 1990s, when George Soros and a group of other investors that included fellow hedge fund managers Paul Tudor Jones and Bruce Kovner, bet against a central bank’s ability to hold the line on its currency.
Forbes took a deep dive into that trade in the November 9, 1992 issue, illuminating how Soros made $1.5 billion in just a single month by betting the British pound and several other European currencies were priced too richly against the German deutsche mark.
The entire group cashed in big-time. Jones’ funds made $250 million, while Kovner’s Caxton Corp. rang the register to the tune of $300 million, but no one made more than Soros, who cleared $1.5 billion in that fateful month of September. (The score made Soros’ legend and swelled his firm’s coffers; assets under management jumped to $7 billion, from $3.3 billion, by mid-October 1992, and to $11 billion by the end of 1993.)