In a new opinion piece published by Financial Times, Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio claims that America is in the process of "deleveraging" (selling off assets) herself and that political leaders have opted to act on populist mentality rather than make the clear, rational decisions.
In his op-ed titled Risk on the rise as political leaders give in to mob rule, Dalio writes:
Rather than trying to resolve disagreements through thoughtful discourse, people are now trying to grab power to beat and suppress their opponents. Tensions between the rich and the poor, capitalists and socialists, those in and out of power and different factions in each group are now intensifying in a manner that is classic in deleveragings. Politicians who are fighting for power in a political year are fanning the flames and are increasingly willing to do risky things (like shutting down the government) in pursuit of their missions and popular support.
This growing populism will have important implications for monetary, fiscal and trade policies and will significantly increase risks of a markets downturn and a global depression.
And what exactly does this look like?
Mobs are at the doors of bankers and others in the financial system, screaming to politicians to put these people in jail while the vote-seeking politicians are fanning the flames rather than reminding people that the legal system is the way these people should be judged.
Since banks are levered about 15 to 1, it doesn’t take much of a debt problem to cause them solvency problems, and since in deleveragings debt problems are big, there is significant risk banks will run out of equity again and the fury against them will intensify. For these reasons risks to the global banking system are much greater than normal.