Ray Dalio's Bridgewater says turmoil is coming for markets because investors are underestimating inflation and the Fed

Ray Dalio's Bridgewater says turmoil is coming for markets because investors are underestimating inflation and the Fed
  • Ray Dalio's hedge fund Bridgewater has said markets are in for volatility, because investors are underestimating inflation and the Fed.
  • Bridgewater said Tuesday it sees a "coming clash" between what will happen and what investors expect.
  • The fund's analysts said they see the potential for big moves in markets that will make it risky to hold assets.

Ray Dalio's hedge fund Bridgewater has said further turbulence is likely to hit markets, because investors are underestimating the strength of inflation and the aggressiveness of the Federal Reserve.

"Because there is such a big difference between what is discounted and what we think is likely, we see the potential for large market moves, which of course implies significant risks from holding assets," the world's biggest hedge fund said in its 2022 outlook, published Tuesday.

Analysts at Bridgewater said the huge amounts of monetary and fiscal stimulus pumped into economies during coronavirus are likely to keep inflation running hot.

Yet the hedge fund said financial markets currently think that inflation will be easy to get under control with relatively small interest rates from central banks such as the Federal Reserve.

Market pricing suggests investors think US inflation, currently running at 7%, will fall back sharply and average under 2.5% over the next decade. Meanwhile, they also think the Fed will stop hiking interest rates when it gets to around 2.25% to 2.5%, according to a Reuters poll, well below the historical norm.


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Bridgewater's analysts questioned this line of thinking, saying the huge amounts of cash in the economy are creating self-reinforcing inflation which will require "aggressive" action from the Fed.

The risk is that the Fed will slam on the brakes much faster than markets expect, shocking investors and leading to further sell-offs in stocks and bonds. Markets are currently pricing in five Fed interest rate hikes in 2022.

"We see a coming clash between what is about to transpire and what is now being discounted," Bridgewater analysts wrote in the outlook.

US equities have already fallen sharply in 2022, as the Fed prepares to bring the easy-money era to a close. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 was down 8% for the year as of Tuesday's close, while the S&P 500 was 4.6% lower.


Wall Street strategists are divided about the outlook. Goldman Sachs has said economic growth looks relatively strong and that investors should buy the dip in stocks.

Barclays has said stocks have further to fall following the Fed's "hard pivot" to a tough stance on inflation.

Bridgewater was founded by Dalio in 1975, and is the biggest hedge fund in the world, with around $145 billion under management, according to Forbes.