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Davos: The hedgies explain your future to you


Ray Dalio, who runs Bridgewater, the world’s biggest hedge fund, had probably the clearest take on this low-growth world. In a post-crisis, high-debt global economy, Dalio said, economic growth can’t come from debt, as it did during the last few decades or so. Economies are still deleveraging, debt won’t rise faster than income and the primary way large economies can grow is by increasing productivity. (CNBC has a bit more on his philosophy here).

What does Dalio actually mean by this? Dalio expanded a bit: the big conversation in politics and economics, he said, will be about how to get more out of workers – growth won’t come from the next Internet, the next real estate boom or any new asset, in other words. This means, he said, hard choices about questions like “How long is a vacation?” or “What is a good life?”

Ah, "hard choices."

For whom"?

No votes yet


Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

Also, "the big conversation ..."

"conversation" is a neo-liberal kleptocratic code word that is cropping up more and more -- it actually means dictates and necessities formulated by the .01% -- could not be further in meaning from the exchange of views between two or more persons.

Submitted by Hugh on

Ray Dalio (translation): Cut the slaves' food rations, longer hours in the fields and cubicles, and increased beatings until morale improves.

It is like we are reliving the years right before the French and Russian Revolutions when aristocrats lamented the laziness of the lower classes upon which they parasitically fed.

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

I'm scratching my head here. If the problem is that people are still "deleveraging" (another $5 dollar word for "drowning in debt" and "not in a position to buy anything") then how is making them more slaves than they are now going to solve what seems to be Dalio's main "concern." e.g. jacking up buying power among the masses?

I'm sure I'm missing something here, so any (gentle) explanations welcome.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

People like this guy Dalio should be looked on as common criminals or how about hoarders like you see on the reality shows? Those people are usually disheveled roaming their magazine and rubbish filled houses in their flip flops. But the difference appears to be only the clothes and shoe wear. These holders of paper wealth are just a bunch of hoarders. Difference is that they got their stuff by looting while our working class hoarder actually bought the junk.

Submitted by lambert on

.... put through one of those meme generators (picture + slogan). Could even be a cat, if the cat was fat enough.

* * *

On the outrage, I so know what you mean. I feel I am way beyond outrage into some form of over-stressed psychic numbness (and I'm experiencing all this in my own life, too; it's very doubtful I will ever work again, for example, at least in this country, and I've been working since I was twelve, shelving books in the library). Not that blogging isn't "work," it's the hardest work I've ever done, and the most rewarding, but you know what I mean.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

Synchronicity. I was going to add that being on outrage overload has made me numb, but decided it might sound too depressed. But, yes, there is a sort of odd numbness that has been setting in lately and I must fight mightily against it.
Having affirmation of a good metaphor has perked me up! Thanks! I should try to find someone to draw a fat cat banker in flip flops eating his caviar in front of the TV surrounded by loads of old WSJs. Like the guy that does it for Rolling Stone.
I also was going to write a piece called "Cheap Bouquets and Shrimp Buffets" which were two wonderful images of the inaugural from Glen Ford and Bruce Dixon independently.

Submitted by lambert on

... and I would be very interested to know if you see them too.

1. "Enough is enough" (vulgate, "Aw, fuck it!") See here. This is a gun post, but the "enough is enough" thing is independent of policy (indeed, some gun advocates decided enough was enough, and left). I would be interested to know if you are seeing this attitude where you are. The precipitating event can be quite micro.

2. The general numb thing. It's not the same as depression, at all. It's more like being frozen in place, but still scanning the horizon. Perhaps as at the sensed but not perceived approach of a predator... I'd be interested to see if you see this elsewhere as well.

reslez's picture
Submitted by reslez on

People are internalizing the idea their latest marketed savior, Obama, will not save them, in fact sold them out. Obama bought the IBGYBG guys time, and now a generation has been lost to politics, for they will never believe that particular lie again. Also the relentlessly distilled idea that people can't effect change on their own; that you need a leader to do everything for you (because leaders are more easily bought); and the choice example of those who do stand up (Aaron Swartz, Tim DeChristopher). Why court financial ruin when you can watch Hoarders on TLC? Why does it matter who's in office when they all sell out and no help ever comes?

Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil.

Submitted by cg.eye on

Yes, Squalor is Bad -- but those close to working-class hoarders, outside solving the mental issues, wouldn't mind owning the house, either, and committing the relative who (selfishly) doesn't liquidate those material assets and share them with the family. Hoarders are noticed only for their breakapart value, and how different is a concerned relative or organizer from an arbitrageur?

I wonder why no one sees the hoarding problem not only as a mental illness problem, but as a tacit criticism, through the overuse of capitalism?

What might work would be the regained belief that markets work, even for those with excess supplies of Beanie Babies -- that the cost of liquidation would be exceeded by the sale value, and that such value wouldn't be gamed by market setters grabbing excessive rents.

Remember when eBay was supposed to be the solution for individuals selling goods from home, for reasonable prices and profit? It's now a portal for goods straight from slave-labor countries, with prices below the cost of shipping said item domestically. And ain't it peculiar that the network that enabled hoarding as a spectator sport -- PBS, with Antiques Roadshow -- has shied away from airing hoarding shows? Maybe their market research shows that those most likely to fall within the listener supporter Venn circle also have hoarding issues, or they're hoping that said viewers donate their hoard for the annual station auction...

Submitted by lambert on

... before they went into the home. So I know what you mean.

And I have this tune going through my mind: "A working class hoarder is something to be"

* * *

I think that putting hoarding money on the same moral plane as hoarding kleenex boxes -- OK, modulo the deaths -- is brilliant, however.

How would you suggest we leverage to avoid any whiff of smug superiority?

Submitted by cg.eye on

Howard Hughes.

He combined paranoia, OCD and a deeply-acquisitive business sense that, eventually, destroyed him -- and you even have his LDS handlers waiting for the Kleenex boxes to drop....

It's just that our new crop of 1-percenter hoarders don't even have the decency to be humbled by their illness -- and they have the worst handlers possible, in an Administration that enables them to the point of (kinnehora) self-destruction -- that is, if they don't take us with them.

From corporations holding on to obscene cash reserves instead of stimulating the economy through hiring, to the corporate gates being slammed against the unemployed, there is no thought of sharing that doesn't cause panic.

Submitted by lambert on

... maybe keep it simple and just do a LOLcat? That worked well for me here.

All you would need then would be a picture of a fat cat, perhaps in a top hat and with a cigar.