In financial circles, a bull market is a positive upward move while a bear market is negative and downward. But mentions a bear, and then a bull, to most people and certain images come to mind. Foremost is that a bear is a wild and dangerous animal. The bear is known for attacking anyone who comes between a bear mother and her cubs. On the other hand, a bull is a domesticated animal and the brunt of rodeo bull riders and matadors. A bull in American is dangerous in a China shop and their only function in life is to populate the herd. But in history, a different image for the bull emerges. Early civilizations feared and venerated the bull. Even now, in India, the cow is a scared animal. The Minotaur was a mythological beast with tremendous power. But put a bear in the ring with a bull and the bull is dead meat. The murky origin of the two terms in the financial arena dates back three centuries and can refer to the shortened names of two trading firms or the similar sounds to “bare” for a bear market or “full” for a bull market. The analogy continues with the bulls striking upwards with their horns while the bears strike down with their claws.
No matter the origins the bull is the symbol of Wall Street and a bear or someone trading a down market is considered a contrarian. In 1992 George Soros saw an opportunity taking shape with the British economy. England was on the verge of a collapse, and Soros saw an opportunity to profit. He entered a position in the Foreign Exchange Market (Forex) betting against the British Pound Sterling, and he made a fortune. George Soros was managing a hedge fund that he founded in 1969 and his personal gain from the one trade was more than $1 billion. The fund made more and established it as one of the premiere hedge funds in the world. The fund continues to profit at a level of almost 20% per year of its operation. But the action of Soros betting on a downside move for a stock or in this case the British economy earned him the dubious title of Bear, a title he shared with Jesse Livermore a Wall Street legend from the early days of Wall Street during the Great Depression.
After gaining great financial success, Soros turned his eyes toward political reforms in countries with dictatorial governments and had an influence on progressive politics in his home country of the United States of America. Soros has a strong commitment to the election of Hillary Clinton and has donated $8 million to a PAC supporting her election. She, in turn, has offered him access to her when she is in office.
Soros sadly sees another downturn in the American and European markets and is hedging his bets with positions in gold and divesting stock positions.
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