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Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order by Ray Dalio

Ray Dalios Advice on Anticipating Economic Crises

  • Ray Dalio has learned the importance of anticipating future events by studying the past
  • He uses his experiences, such as the 1971 US default on debt and 2008 mortgage-driven debt crisis, to illustrate how central banks print money to relieve economic crises
  • He suggests that investors should buy stocks, gold and commodities in these situations because their values will rise with the decrease in paper money value.

The Cycle of Global Power: Understanding the Rise & Fall of Empires

  • The rise and fall of empires
  • The importance of reserve currency
  • The sequence of events leading to changes in internal and world orders
  • How education, inventiveness, technology development, competitiveness, economic output, world trade share, military strength, financial center power, and currency strength are used to measure total power
  • The typical cycle beginning with major conflict, followed by peace and prosperity leading to financial bubble which bursts then leads to internal conflict that diminishes external power which leads to revolution or war establishing new winners and a new world order.

Tracing the 500-Year Cycle of Empire: From Rise to Financial Bubble

  • The typical 500-year big cycle of empire is divided into three stages: the rise, the top and the decline
  • A successful new order is typically started by powerful revolutionary leaders, who win power, consolidate power, establish systems and institutions that make the country work well, and pick their successors well
  • During the rise phase there is typically a period of peace and growing prosperity because the leadership has broad support
  • To be great they must have strong education which encourages civility and work ethic
  • As they do this, they become more productive and competitive in world markets
  • They must also develop strong military strength to protect their foreign interests from attack
  • They incentivize and empower those that are able to make or take wealth by developing capital markets – lending, bond and stock markets – as well as currency exchange rates
  • When countries become leading international trading empires, their transactions can be paid with their currency making it a preferred global medium of exchange
  • This exorbitant privilege leads borrowing to increase and thus the beginning of a financial bubble.

The Downfall of Empires: How Unsustainable Success leads to a Bleak Future

  • Since the dawn of recorded history, successful empires have been sustained by the combination of economic, political and military power bolstered by their reserve currency status
  • However, this success is also the origin of their decline as people in richer countries become more expensive and less competitive than those in other countries who are willing to work for less
  • Wealth gaps between the rich “haves” and poor “have-nots” grow, which can lead to political extremism
  • When governments have trouble funding themselves and economic conditions worsen, large debts lead to financial bubbles that burst, devaluing the currency and raising inflation.

The Changing World Order: Turbulent Conditions, Populist Leaders, and The Risk of War

  • The changing world order is characterized by turbulent conditions that lead to conflict
  • Populist leaders emerge and attempt to gain power, often leading to revolution or civil war
  • The risk of international conflict is raised with the weakening of the leading empire
  • Poor economic conditions can cause military spending and result in war, which reshapes the new order
  • Currency devaluation can signal an end for a particular empire
  • A few vital signs can be used to measure an empire’s longevity
  • Earning more than spending and treating each other well are two main steps to increase longevity.

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