At Davos, Soros-funded Group’s President Says Look to Bretton Woods for Economic Advice

New America Foundation foundation promotes initiative with same name as earlier Soros conference

Editor’s Note: the Bretton Woods II that Ms. Slaughter promoted at Davos was not the conference that George Soros organized in 2011, to which her New America Foundation had sent a representative. Ms. Slaughter was referring to a project, also named Bretton Woods II, of the New America Foundation. This project will culminate in a SECOND conference named Bretton Woods II in 2016. While these redundantly named events are separate, their purposes appear similar. An earlier version of this article did not differentiate between the two. We apologize for any confusion.

The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is supposed to be a place where world leaders solve the world’s economic and social problems. But, for the president of one Soros-funded group, it’s also a place to make a sales pitch for her plan to change the global economy. And the name for that plan is identical to one that Soros pitched back in 2009.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, president of the New America Foundation, told attendees in Davos that the answers for many of the economic questions that the world was facing could be found in Bretton Woods II, an initiative being pushed by her group.

There was actually an early conference also named Bretton Woods II, and the New America Foundation sent a representative to it. Soros gave $50 million to the group that hosted that conference in 2011. The New America Foundation has received $4,556,875 from Soros since 2001. This is the same Soros who called capitalism the “main enemy of the open society.”

“There’s an initiative called the Bretton Woods II initiative,” Slaughter said, “that brings governments, large pension funds, large sovereign wealth funds, civil society, to pledge to commit one percent of their resources to invest long term in development financing, in social impact investing and in civil society support. That’s a kind of leadership. It’s collaborative – it’s not the person out there in front – it’s collaborative, it’s bringing people together, and it’s mobilizing multiple sectors for the public good.” According to the New America Foundation, the Bretton Woods II initiative is not connected to the original Bretton Woods II conference, despite the similarities in both name and purpose.

In 2011, the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), a group that Soros spent $50 million on, hosted the second Bretton Woods conference. The executive director of that group was a former managing director at Soros Fund Management. More than two-thirds of the speakers at that conference had direct ties to Soros. This is the same George Soros who said that "the main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat."

The event brought together "more than 200 academic, business and government policy thought leaders' to repeat the famed 1944 Bretton Woods gathering that helped create the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Soros wanted a new 'multilateral system," or an economic system where America wasn’t so dominant.

The Soros ties at the conference weren’t a coincidence. On Nov. 4, 2009, Soros wrote an op-ed calling for "a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order." He added that his goal was to bring about "a new Bretton Woods conference, like the one that established the post-WWII international financial architecture." Only a week before that op-ed ran, Soros helped to found INET – the very group that hosted the second Bretton Woods conference less than two years later.

Soros described in the 2009 op-ed that U.S.-China conflict as "another stark choice between two fundamentally different forms of organization: international capitalism and state capitalism." He concluded that "a new multilateral system based on sounder principles must be invented." As he explained it in 2010, "we need a global sheriff."

New America senior fellow Barry Lynn attended the first Bretton Woods II on behalf of the foundation. At the time, Steve Coll was president of the New America Foundation. Coll is now the dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.

— Mike Ciandella is Research Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Mike Ciandella on Twitter.