Interesting financial news


Bridgewater Associates LP is poised to amass a huge investment fund in China, giving its founder, Ray Dalio, the kind of clout that has largely eluded Western financial firms in the world’s second-largest economy. Mr. Dalio turned Bridgewater into one of the most successful investment firms ever, making investors $49 billion since its launch in 1975, according to LCH Investments NV. Based in Westport, Conn., Bridgewater handles $160 billion and has about 1,500 employees. Bridgewater registered its name in Chinese as QiaoShui, a literal translation of the words “bridge” and “water.” It deposited millions of dollars in required capital and won approval for its largest fund to invest in China’s $9 trillion primary bond market. To trade in local Chinese markets, Bridgewater is designing a new operation that focuses on Chinese securities. It is being created in the mold of Bridgewater’s low-fee All Weather portfolio, which follows a “risk parity” strategy and uses computer-driven bets. Mr. Dalio has much of his own net worth invested in the same strategy. All Weather automatically buys and sells investments to maintain a balanced long-term strategy amid the market’s day-to-day ups and downs. Mr. Dalio has told people at Bridgewater that a mechanical investment approach that steers clear of active market speculation could be the most palatable to Chinese and international investors. Some current and former employees say the practice of “radical transparency,” which requires most meetings to be recorded and employees to identify the weaknesses of other employees, reminds them of “struggle sessions” from the Cultural Revolution era, when Chinese citizens were encouraged to publicly criticize and punish one another. At Bridgewater headquarters, Mr. Dalio created a team he named “the politburo,” a modified version of the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s domineering governing body of the same name.

Capital flows both ways: “By 2020, China’s overseas assets are forecast to triple, to $20 trillion, from $6.4 trillion today.” Dalio does TM. Who can imagine that?

Bonus: someone we’ve never heard of had something to say about the weather. Seriously, we’ve never seen nor heard of this person.

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