Publications often prepare obituaries for famous living individuals, particularly ones who are near death. Publications don’t, however, generally prematurely publish them.
Thursday evening, Reuters accidentally published its obituary of the wealthy liberal business magnate and political financier George Soros, who is alive and well at 82.
“George Soros, who died XXX at age XXX, was a predatory and hugely successful financier and investor, who argued paradoxically for years against the same sort of free-wheeling capitalism that made him billions,” his obituary reads. It went live at 5:41 p.m. EST and was up for about 10 minutes.
The obit continued to say that Hungarian-born billionaire was known as the “man who broke the Bank of England” for “helping force the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, which devalued the pound,” but put $1 billion in Soros’ own bank account in 1992.
He was also blamed for the Asian financial crisis of 1997, when Soros Fund Management sold the Thai baht and Malaysian ringgit short.
The obituary goes on to talk about Soros’ dislike for the conservative economic notion that the market will correct itself without the help of the government, calling it free-market “fundamentalism.”
Soros, however, greatly benefitted from the free market, making himself quite the walking contradiction.
He was vocal about his hatred of former President George W. Bush, calling him “the main obstacle to a stable and just world order,” according to Reuters’ obituary.
The obit skirts around Soros’ charge of insider trading in France, as obits often omit the bad stuff about a person. “While Soros’ life has been marked by remarkable success in his far-flung endeavors, it has not been without defeat,” the obit reads. Soros pleaded not guilty, but paid a small penalty.
The obit also mentions that Soros was a partner in a group that failed to acquire the Washington Nationals baseball team.
“But these failings stand out in the life of this remarkably successful Hungarian-American financier, philanthropist and thinker, in contrast to his stubborn refusal to fail in virtually every other venture,” the obit concluded.
The Reuters article has been taken down, but is still searchable on Google. Reuters tweeted Thursday, “Reuters published an obituary of George Soros in error. Reuters withdrew the article as soon as it appeared”.