VIENNA: When billionaire investor George Soros voices an opinion on the global economy, his views command greater respect than those of any other financier, except, perhaps, Warren Buffet.

Soros diagnoses the current economic situation as the worst since the Second World War and that the US is teetering on the brink of recession.

"We really do have a serious financial crisis now," he told Austrian daily newspaper Standard, laying the blame at the door of politicians who had misunderstood the nature of global markets.

He said they were wrong to believe in "market fundamentalism" - that financial markets tended to act as a balance.

His declared surprise at Europe's apparent misunderstanding of the US recession threat was answered by a 6% share fall, the biggest one day slide since 9/11.

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff