Soros warns against tunnel vision

Billionaire financier George Soros said last night the terror attacks in America could worsen the global economic downturn - but in turn could enable the eventual recovery to come faster.

Speaking at the Asia Society Annual Gala in Hong Kong, he said that although alleged terrorist Osama bin Laden should be hunted down, global leaders should not become so preoccupied as to ignore problems such as poverty.

'We need to hunt down bin Laden and resist international terrorism,' Mr Soros said. 'But we should not become so preoccupied with waging war as to forget about the constructive steps that we could take to alleviate social ills in the world.

'Improving social conditions will not prevent people like bin Laden from exercising their evil genius but it will help to alleviate grievances on which extremism of all kinds feeds.

'Above all we must avoid creating civilian casualties [and] avoid demonising Islam.'