Hedge fund king Ray Dalio told CNBC on Tuesday that perhaps the biggest economic question of our time is a social one.
“What is a big deal is if you had an economic downturn because we have two economies,” the founder and chairman of Bridgewater Associates said.
Dalio said less than 1 percent of the population has a net worth that is equal to the bottom 90 percent of the population combined.
“If you were to have a downturn, I really do believe that the wealth conflict, the left, the right and all of that would be intolerable,” he said in a “Squawk Box” interview. “If you have a downturn, I think it becomes a social and political question.”
Dalio, whose hedge fund has about $162 billion assets under management, says he doesn’t see anything that would cause an economic downturn other than a move to a tighter monetary policy.
Tight monetary policy is an action taken by a central bank to constrict spending in an economy that’s seen as growing quickly.
The Federal Reserve begins its September meeting on Tuesday and is expected to announce on Wednesday plans to begin unwinding its more than $4 trillion portfolio of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities. An interest rate hike is not expected until December.
“I think we’re in a good part of the cycle,” Dalio said.
Dalio said fiscal stimulus measures being pushed in Washington such as health-care reform and a tax overhaul will have a “modest impact.”
In the interview, Dalio said the Fed won’t wind down its $4 trillion portfolio of assets as quickly as it indicates.