The Founder of the World’s Largest Hedge Fund says the ‘Magnitude’ of the Next Downturn Will be Epic

Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates has some good news for Wall Street investors, and some bad news.

First the good news: The founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, which boasts $102 billion under management, says the global economy is “at or near its best,” with few, if any major risks, on the horizon. Against, the backdrop of ever-rising equity prices, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) the S&P 500 index (SPX) and the Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) hovering around all-time highs, the short-term picture looks halcyon. Even London’s benchmark FTSE 100 (XX:UKX) closed at a record on Friday.

“The economy is now at or near its best, and we see no major economic risks on the horizon for the next year or two,” Dalio wrote in a post on LinkedIn Friday.

Now, the bad news: over the longer term, Dalio’s outlook isn’t so sanguine.

“So we fear that whatever the magnitude of the downturn that eventually comes, whenever it eventually comes, it will likely produce much greater social and political conflict than currently exists,” he writes.

Presently, global markets appear to be stabilizing more than eight years after the global financial system was brought to its knees. Central bankers have underpinned much of the growth in equity markets by keeping benchmark borrowing costs ultralow, Dalio said.

President Donald Trump has vowed to implement an array of policies that will stoke fresh animal spirits in the U.S. economy, and equity investors world-wide appear to have pinned at least some of their hopes on those pro-business policies coming to fruition.

But Trump isn’t the only catalyst behind the bullish sentiment in the market, with corporate earnings offering a more upbeat outlook—on a relative basis—and the aforementioned improvements in other areas of the globe also underpinning the market optimism.

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Source: MarketWatch | Mark DeCambre