Dalio Changes View On China -- Or Does He?

It seems that hedge fund guru Ray Dalio’s take on China has changed — though to what degree is debatable.

“Our views about China have changed,” Dalio and his Bridgewater colleagues wrote in a recent note to clients, according to The Wall Street Journal. “There are now no safe places to invest.”

Over the past month or two, Dalio had said that China’s stock-market plunge was “not significantly reflective of, or influential on, the Chinese economy, Chinese investors, or foreign investors,” and was creating opportunities, the Journal reports. But in the recent note, he said the declines would have a broader impact. “Even those who haven’t lost money in stocks will be affected psychologically by events, and those effects will have a depressive effect on economic activity,” he wrote.

After news of the recent note, however, Bridgewater issues a press release downplaying the notion that it has soured on China. “The observations that were made simply noted that falling stock prices have a negative wealth and negative psychological effect. When a classic stock market bubble (supported by unsophisticated investors buying stocks on a lot of margin) bursts there are negative growth effects. When combined with the debt and economic restructurings underway, that will most likely result in slower growth, and more stimulative government policies to offset these downward pressures,” the statement, printed by the Journal, said. “Bridgewater’s view that China faces debt and economic restructuring challenges, and that it has the resources and the capable leaders to manage these challenges, remains the same.”