Bill Gross Just Clashed With World’s Biggest Hedge Fund Over Donald Trump’s Economics

Nov 16, 2016

Two of the world's most famous and powerful investors are squaring off on what Donald Trump will do to the U.S. economy.

Ray Dalio, who is the head of Bridgewater—the world's largest hedge fund—says Donald Trump won't "recklessly and stupidly drive the economy into a ditch."

Janus Capital's Bill Gross says Trump will. So much for optimism.

Gross, who has been dubbed the "Bond King," was dour about the future of the economy under Trump in his monthly investment outlook, released Wednesday. He predicted that while Trump would last just a single term, his policies—even his tax cuts, which analysts say could boost spending—would be a drag on the economy.

"There is no new Trump bull market in the offing," wrote Gross, who voted for neither Trump nor Clinton. "The Trumpian Fox has entered the Populist Henhouse, not so much by stealth but as a result of Middle America's misinterpretation of what will make America great again."

Gross argued that while lower taxes could result in increased spending in the economy, the higher budget deficits that are expected to result from the tax cuts will also push interest rates and prices higher, leading companies to pay more for their goods and investments. That in turn would cut into earnings and price-to-earnings ratios, while Trump's policies on immigration and free trade would limit the economy's growth. It's a one-two economic knockout, according to Gross.

And it'll only get worse from there. Gross predicts those negative-growth policies will continue to spread to other nations as the populism that helped carry Trump to his Nov. 8 victory spreads elsewhere.

The Bond King's predictions come just a day after Dalio in a Linkedin post said Trump's administration would be "broadly positive for the economy." In a Linkedin blog post, Dalio noted that the candidate could usher in a era that would put a halt to globalization in favor of the domestic manufacturing markets.

But Dalio was bearish on at least one thing: Gross's playing field—bonds. Dalio predicted that bond prices had hit their 30-year peak, since inflation is expected to rise under Trump.

The Trump optimism from Dalio seems to be in line with other on Wall Street who suddenly have amnesia about what they said prior to the election. On election day, Dalio's firm Bridgewater predicted that if Trump was to win, the market would plunge 10% overnight. That prediction was not correct.

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