In recent months, Ray Dalio seems to be undergoing a deep midlife and identity crisis, which has not only led to dramatic recent management changes at the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater, but also resulted in some fairly spectacular cognitive dissonance, as Dalio first praised, then slammed, president Trump. Yesterday. in the latest expression of his building anti-Trumpian sentiment, Bridgewater released a 61-page report looking at “Populism: the Phenomenon“, which describes what Bridgewater sees as the ‘archetypical populist template,’ which the fund built out through studying 14 past populist leaders in 10 different countries.
The unspoken message in the report is that the US is the 15 example of the “populist leader”, and since all 14 cases presented by Dalio had less than happy endings, the implication is that Bridgewater is hardly optimistic or excited about the near-term future for the US.
Dalio’s politics aside, however, the report, among other notable historical observations, has a fascinating aside into what happened some 100 years ago in post-World War I and Tsarist Russia under Vladiir Lenin and the Russian Revolution.
Here are the key highlights;
World War I proved to be Tsarist Russia’s death knell: Russia’s military suffered severe defeats against Germany, leading to massive casualties, as well as high inflation and food shortages. In response, an initial revolution occurred in early 1917 (the February Revolution), forcing the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II and producing a liberal republic that legalized political parties.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 23, 2017.