Crisis to have 'serious and lasting' impact-Soros

BUDAPEST Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:31pm EDT

BUDAPEST Oct 26 (Reuters) - Billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros said on Monday the global economic crisis will have a "serious and lasting" impact, adding that withdrawing stimulus measures will be a difficult process.

In a brief interview with Hungarian public television during a visit to Budapest, Soros said the world must learn the lesson from the crisis and overhaul the regulation of financial markets.

When asked if he was afraid that this will not happen once the crisis is over, he said:

"Very much so because ... one year after the crisis, now that the financial framework has been successfully held together and money markets start to recover, people would like to forget this (crisis) just as a bad dream," Soros said.

He also said withdrawing and exiting stimulus measures, such as government loan guarantees to ease the credit crunch, will be very difficult.

"When the market starts to operate again, these monies will have to be withdrawn and this will be very difficult ... and the lesson must be learned, why this happened and how the system can be changed to make it work better," he said.

Soros, who runs hedge fund firm Soros Fund Management and has made his reputation with bold currency bets, is conducting a series of lectures at Budapest's Central European University this week about his philosophical theories and views on financial markets, and open society.

Soros will speak about financial markets on Tuesday. (Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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