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George Soros says Europe should tap up an obscure bond used during the Napoleonic Wars to save itself from a coronavirus depression

George Soros says Europe should tap up an obscure bond used during the Napoleonic Wars to save itself from a coronavirus depression
FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images



Hedge fund veteran George Soros says Europe should introduce so-called perpetual bonds — bonds that have no maturity — to help finance the response to the economic impact of the coronavirus.




With a perpetual bond, the principal, or the amount that is borrowed, is never paid back, and the borrower only repays the interest on the bond.




Such bonds have been issued during times of crisis before, Soros said, noting that the UK issued perpetual bonds during the Napoleonic Wars.




Soros' suggestion comes days after France and Germany proposed a €500 billion ($545 billion) billion recovery fund for the EU which would be funded by grants.




Soros said the EU needs to maintain an AAA rating or else bonds will be "unsaleable".




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Billionaire hedge-fund founder George Soros thinks Europe can help solve the economic crisis driven by the coronavirus by issuing so-called perpetual bonds, a little used form of bond that has no maturity or end date.
These bonds, also called consols or perpetual bonds, are unique because the principal — the amount borrowed — is never paid back, and only interest is paid by the issuing party. They must, however, pay that interest in perpetuity.
They've previously been used in times of crisis by governments around the world to fund things like wars.
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