The founder of the world’s largest hedge fund says Donald Trump is showcasing a tendency to choose the part over the whole.
In a note posted on his LinkedIn page Monday, Bridgewater Associates’ Ray Dalio said he was “especially concerned about the consequences of his pursuing so much conflict.”
“When faced with the choices between what’s good for the whole and what’s good for the part, and between harmony and conflict, he has a strong tendency to choose the part and conflict,” Dalio wrote on his LinkedIn page.
“By ‘the whole,’ I mean the whole ecosystem, the whole world community, and whole of the US, and by “the part,” I mean the part of the US that he is presumably trying to help.”
Dalio cited Trump’s decision last week to pull the US out of the Paris climate accord agreed to by 195 countries, calling it “consistent with [Trump’s] increasingly clear patterns of behavior.”
Trump’s actions are leaving people scrambling to figure out which Americans Trump is trying to help, such as American manufacturing workers, and at the expense of whom, Dalio wrote.
People are left questioning, for instance, whether they should support the “part he is trying to protect (e.g., American manufacturing workers)” or whether they are “more aligned with those who will lose out (e.g., immigrants, those who will lose benefits from his budget changes).”
In the end, Trump’s strategy might backfire on him, Dalio added:
“Sometimes conflict produces better results and sometimes it produces worse results for the people who are pursuing it to get what they want. For example, if Donald Trump were optimizing for his own well-being through conflict, it’s entirely possible that he would undermine his own well-being because the retaliation could be more damaging to him than the cooperation.”
Dalio and his $150 billion investment firm have speculated on Trump, and his implications for markets, for months, though those predictions haven’t always played out.
Last year, Bridgewater told clients on the day of the election that markets would slump if Trump were elected. (They have since rallied.) More recently, Bridgewater said that stocks would drop if Trump were impeached, according to a client note reviewed by Business Insider.