Dalio - the 4 main influences on economic outcomes

Ray Dalio’s (and Bridgewater’s) research in the last 1000 years of history, point to 4 main drivers/influences over economic outcomes:

  • Productivity which improves about 1-3% pa and builds wealth slowly over time.

  • Short-term debt cycle – 8-10 years long, creating normal recessions and booms in the economy.

  • Long-term debt cycle – about 50-75 years usually, is when you begin a new type of money and a new type of credit. The last/current cycle began in 1945 with the Bretton Woods Agreement. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bretton_Woods_system, created a new monetary system. They wiped out the old money. This was the American World order that began in 1945. 70% of the global economy still runs with US$. At the end of the long-term debt cycle, you should expect economic depression, which is what we are going into now.

  • Politics. That is, how we deal with each other.

  • Internal politics. Eg how do you deal with the wealth gap? Is there a common mission for the country that everyone agrees on? Or do we fight over wealth? That is what revolutions are in their various forms. But there is a wealth shift that needs to take place. In the 1930s in USA, Roosevelt increased taxes on the wealthy and in Germany, Hitler came to power. The other alternative is something like the French Revolution.

  • External politics. Eg when you have a rising power challenging an existing power – as China is challenging USA today. Competition and the risk of war.

In this discussion, Ray Dalio discusses the above and much more. https://www.ted.com/talks/ray_dalio_what_coronavirus_means_for_the_global_economy

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