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Opinion
John Authers

It Was 30 Years Ago Today, George Soros Taught the Bank to Play

A crisis with the pound on Black Wednesday produced an early form of Brexit that shocked the world. And now? When global imbalances are this entrenched, interventions should be resisted with a stiff upper lip.

“The Man Who Broke the Bank of England” became a household name.

“The Man Who Broke the Bank of England” became a household name.

Photographer Jean-Claude Deutsch/Paris Match Archive/Getty

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Margaret Thatcher always used to say that “you can’t buck the markets.” Having in 1990 been dragged very much against her will into joining the exchange rate mechanism of the European Monetary System (in which other EU currencies traded in a fixed band around the deutsche mark in what was intended as a precursor to the euro), she appeared to gain vindication 30 years ago today, when the UK government abandoned its attempt to keep the pound within the mechanism and let it float — which in practice meant that it let the currency collapse.