'The world will look different': Billionaire investor Ray Dalio predicts the pandemic will ultimately boost savings and drive self-sufficiency

Brian Snyder/Reuters
  • Ray Dalio discussed how the coronavirus pandemic might reshape the US economy in a LinkedIn Live interview on Tuesday.
  • The billionaire co-chief of Bridgewater Associates predicted it would spur people to save more, prompt government to invest more in healthcare, and lead countries to manufacture critical equipment instead of importing it.
  • “We’re now going to be moving to a self-sufficient world,” Dalio said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Billionaire investor Ray Dalio expects the coronavirus pandemic to have sweeping effects on people’s financial decisions, governments’ investment priorities, and global trade.

“The world will look different,” the founder and co-chief of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, said during a LinkedIn Live interview on Tuesday.

Even after the coronavirus threat fades and lockdowns are lifted, individuals and companies may be more prudent with their money so they’re better prepared to weather the next crisis.

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“Savings rates are going to rise,” Dalio predicted, “because everybody wants to assure themselves of safety.”

Authorities might also address the weaknesses in their healthcare systems exposed by the coronavirus. For example, they could invest in more ventilators and critical-care beds, and bolster their supplies of masks and other protective equipment.

“Priorities are going to shift [towards] healthcare and building the basics,” Dalio said in the interview.

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Countries could also shift towards manufacturing critical healthcare equipment instead of importing it, Dalio said, even though it is generally less efficient. He gave the example of the US importing masks and ventilators from China, describing it as a “vulnerability.”

“We’re now going to be moving to a self-sufficient world,” Dalio said, as both individuals and countries have realised that “they’re all so vulnerable.”

The status quo of global supply chains could change significantly, he added. “That won’t be anywhere near the same.”

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