Billionaire George Soros is predicting protests by Occupy Wall Street will turn violent, while warning the U.S. financial system may collapse.
In an interview with Newsweek writer John Arlidge, Soros reportedly said riots on the streets of American cities are inevitable.
“‘Yes, yes, yes,’ he says, almost gleefully,” when asked about the prospect of Occupy turning violent, writes Arlidge.
Soros claimed the riots will “be an excuse for cracking down and using strong-arm tactics to maintain law and order, which, carried to an extreme, could bring about a repressive political system, a society where individual liberty is much more constrained, which would be a break with the tradition of the United States.”
“At times like these, survival is the most important thing,” Soros continued.
“I am not here to cheer you up. The situation is about as serious and difficult as I’ve experienced in my career,” Soros said.
“We are facing an extremely difficult time, comparable in many ways to the 1930s, the Great Depression. We are facing now a general retrenchment in the developed world, which threatens to put us in a decade of more stagnation, or worse,” he said.
“The best-case scenario is a deflationary environment. The worst-case scenario is a collapse of the financial system.”
In the interview, Soros claimed the Occupy Wall Street movement “is an inchoate, leaderless manifestation of protest.”