Soros Boasts in Brazil, 'I Am a Speculator in Ethanol'
<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="23" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr><h1>Soros Boasts in Brazil, 'I Am a Speculator in Ethanol'</h1><p>June 6, 2007 (LPAC)--Billionaire George Soros, who is pouring millions of dollars into Brazil's ethanol industry, along with many other big-name speculators, private equity and hedge funds, admitted June 4 to a conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil that "I am a speculator" in the field. Soros was addressing the Sao Paulo Ethanol Summit 2007, entitled "The New Frontiers of Ethanol--Challenges of Energy in the 21st Century."</p><p>Brazil's outmoded "regulatory environment" is preventing it from increasing production ten-fold, which it could do easily, Soros said. Moreover, he lamented, U.S., European, and Japanese insistence on maintaining tariff barriers to Brazilian ethanol could discourage production as well.</p><p>But this hasn't stopped the mega-speculator from putting $1 billion of his own money into three sugar mills, with 370,000 acres in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul through his company Adeco-Agro. The Lula da Silva government plans to base all of its ethanol production on sugar-cane, the production of which, in Brazil, has a sordid history of colonial-style exploitation and abuse of the virtual slave labor of cane cutters. This may explain Soros's wild enthusiasm for using sugar cane as the feedstock for Brazilian ethanol. It has a great "competitive advantage" over U.S. biofuel production, he argues. A large percentage of Brazilian cane cutters live in abject poverty, denied housing, medical care or job security.</p></div></body>