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Bridgewater CEO David McCormick: Dalio's Transition, Macro Uncertainty, National Innovation Policy

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Content provided by Policy Punchline and Princeton University. All podcast content including episodes, graphics, and podcast descriptions are uploaded and provided directly by Policy Punchline and Princeton University or their podcast platform partner. If you believe someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, you can follow the process outlined here https://ro.player.fm/legal.
David McCormick is the CEO of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund with over $140 billion in assets under management. David joined Bridgewater in 2009 and was President and Co-CEO before becoming CEO in 2020. Prior to Bridgewater, he was the US Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs in the George W. Bush Administration during the 2008 global financial crisis, and he also had senior roles on the National Security Council and in the Department of Commerce. In this interview, David talks about his personal journey from the Army to the Treasury and Bridgewater; the ten-year leadership transition that he and Ray Dalio had just completed; the challenges he experienced when managing Bridgewater over the years; macro-financial topics such as Bridgewater’s “Monetary Policy 3” framework; and his vision for a “national innovation policy” allowing for more frontier civilian technology to enter the military space. Bridgewater is a place that needs very little introduction, especially as founder Ray Dalio’s bestselling book Principles has become not only a nordstar for corporate managers, but also a household read. David tells us about Bridgewater’s distinct culture of radical transparency, critical thinking, and various other principles established by Dalio and how these principles were put to test during the transition process. David transitioned from Co-CEO to CEO of Bridgewater in 2020, which marked the end of a long leadership transition (Ray had kicked off this “ten-year transition” back in 2010). David recalls that he had taken on various management roles in earlier years as the President of the fund, but initially did not do a very good job. Ray eventually asked him to come back as Co-CEO and later as the sole CEO, and it was a long process with many challenges. We ask David how he plans on maintaining the firm’s distinctive culture and Principles, especially when Ray has departed. David explains that going forward, the members of Bridgewater will continue to do a lot of soul searching and find the best way to combine Ray’s wisdom with new thinking that needs to be integrated into the firm’s DNA. It will not be a static or rigid process, but rather one that is nuanced, dynamic, and collaborative. David speaks quite frankly about the fund’s recent drawdowns and underperformance compared to the broader market. He says that Bridgewater has always bounced back stronger after brief periods of drawdowns and that these difficult moments have only made the fund stronger. In his recent Gilbert Lecture at Princeton, David made two arguments about military innovation today: 1) the “line between civilian technology and military technology is more blurred than ever,” and 2) the military needs to create a culture of experimentation and bring in new entrants, and create the right incentives for people to move up the risk curve. He elaborates on these ideas and proposes his vision for a “national innovation policy.” In light of the rising tension between China and the U.S., should American firms and Western countries at large reconsider their dependence and interconnectedness with China? Ray has frequently spoken about Asia being the new frontier for investments given the Western developed world now suffers from historically low interest rates and comparatively lower economic growth. Bridgewater has also recently opened new offices in China and raised new funds from local investors. Why is Bridgewater so active in China when the geopolitical risks and ideological division are at an all-time high? We ask David whether he is concerned about Bridgewater’s potential exposure to geopolitical risks. Lastly, David explains why he believes the U.S. is now at an inflection point – what the U.S. does next will be very important for the future of America’s role in the world. What does he think this role should be? And is David more optimistic or pessimistic in the country’s ability to confront these challenges?
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173 episoade

Artwork
iconDistribuie
 
Manage episode 294512612 series 2691616
Content provided by Policy Punchline and Princeton University. All podcast content including episodes, graphics, and podcast descriptions are uploaded and provided directly by Policy Punchline and Princeton University or their podcast platform partner. If you believe someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, you can follow the process outlined here https://ro.player.fm/legal.
David McCormick is the CEO of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund with over $140 billion in assets under management. David joined Bridgewater in 2009 and was President and Co-CEO before becoming CEO in 2020. Prior to Bridgewater, he was the US Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs in the George W. Bush Administration during the 2008 global financial crisis, and he also had senior roles on the National Security Council and in the Department of Commerce. In this interview, David talks about his personal journey from the Army to the Treasury and Bridgewater; the ten-year leadership transition that he and Ray Dalio had just completed; the challenges he experienced when managing Bridgewater over the years; macro-financial topics such as Bridgewater’s “Monetary Policy 3” framework; and his vision for a “national innovation policy” allowing for more frontier civilian technology to enter the military space. Bridgewater is a place that needs very little introduction, especially as founder Ray Dalio’s bestselling book Principles has become not only a nordstar for corporate managers, but also a household read. David tells us about Bridgewater’s distinct culture of radical transparency, critical thinking, and various other principles established by Dalio and how these principles were put to test during the transition process. David transitioned from Co-CEO to CEO of Bridgewater in 2020, which marked the end of a long leadership transition (Ray had kicked off this “ten-year transition” back in 2010). David recalls that he had taken on various management roles in earlier years as the President of the fund, but initially did not do a very good job. Ray eventually asked him to come back as Co-CEO and later as the sole CEO, and it was a long process with many challenges. We ask David how he plans on maintaining the firm’s distinctive culture and Principles, especially when Ray has departed. David explains that going forward, the members of Bridgewater will continue to do a lot of soul searching and find the best way to combine Ray’s wisdom with new thinking that needs to be integrated into the firm’s DNA. It will not be a static or rigid process, but rather one that is nuanced, dynamic, and collaborative. David speaks quite frankly about the fund’s recent drawdowns and underperformance compared to the broader market. He says that Bridgewater has always bounced back stronger after brief periods of drawdowns and that these difficult moments have only made the fund stronger. In his recent Gilbert Lecture at Princeton, David made two arguments about military innovation today: 1) the “line between civilian technology and military technology is more blurred than ever,” and 2) the military needs to create a culture of experimentation and bring in new entrants, and create the right incentives for people to move up the risk curve. He elaborates on these ideas and proposes his vision for a “national innovation policy.” In light of the rising tension between China and the U.S., should American firms and Western countries at large reconsider their dependence and interconnectedness with China? Ray has frequently spoken about Asia being the new frontier for investments given the Western developed world now suffers from historically low interest rates and comparatively lower economic growth. Bridgewater has also recently opened new offices in China and raised new funds from local investors. Why is Bridgewater so active in China when the geopolitical risks and ideological division are at an all-time high? We ask David whether he is concerned about Bridgewater’s potential exposure to geopolitical risks. Lastly, David explains why he believes the U.S. is now at an inflection point – what the U.S. does next will be very important for the future of America’s role in the world. What does he think this role should be? And is David more optimistic or pessimistic in the country’s ability to confront these challenges?
  continue reading

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