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Billionaire investor sees 1 in 3 chance of civil war

Ray Dalio, the billionaire investor and founder of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, said he sees a growing likelihood that the United States will plunge into a civil war.

In an interview with Financial Times, Dalio, 74, detailed his research in which he found a 35 percent to 40 percent chance that the U.S. will have a civil war.

“We are now on the brink,” Dalio said. Still, he said, it’s not known yet “if we will cross over into much more turbulent times.”

Dalio said a modern-day civil war wouldn’t necessarily be one where people “grab guns and start shooting,” although it is possible.

What he means by civil war, Dalio explained, is an acceleration of political polarization where people would “move to different states that are more aligned with what they want,” and one in which people wouldn’t follow the decisions and direction of federal authorities.

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The billionaire said he thinks this November’s election is the most critical one in his lifetime. The outcome this fall will determine if the risks he sees could actually happen, Dalio argued.

Dalio declined to back either President Biden or former President Trump, but he said he recently attended a Taylor Swift concert and said, “partly as a joke,” that he would support her, if she ever decided to run.

Dalio argued in the interview that investors should move some of their money to foreign markets because the U.S. government’s rising debt levels may hit treasury bonds.

It’s not the first time the billionaire has warned of the global economic demise because of the United States. For years, Dalio has said businesses and governments will move away from a U.S.-centric model and stop using the American dollar internationally.

Dalio recommended in a January 2023 interview that people invest in countries that have minimal debt, no serious internal conflicts and are less vulnerable to international war. He listed countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and India.

“Those desiring globalization will not look beyond the United States, China and Europe,” he said.

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