Ray Dalio says the U.S. is going to have a debt crisis

Finance

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Billionaire investor Ray Dalio is watching closely the “risky” U.S. fiscal situation.

“We’re going to have a debt crisis in this country,” the founder of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates said in an interview with CNBC’s Sara Eisen that aired on Thursday. The two were speaking at a fireside chat at the Managed Funds Association. “How fast it transpires, I think, is going to be a function of that supply-demand issue, so I’m watching that very closely.”

U.S. debt levels surpassed $33 trillion for the first time this month as lawmakers negotiate a U.S. spending bill before the Oct. 1 deadline. A failure to reach an agreement could mean a government shutdown and raise the perceived risk of the country’s debt.

The U.S. debt levels have ballooned in recent years, especially after a roughly 50% increase in federal spending between the fiscal years 2019 and 2021, according to the Treasury Department. Investors fear interest rates may keep rising as the U.S. fiscal situation worsens, hurting the demand for Treasuries.

Dalio is concerned there are more headwinds for the economy than just high debt levels, saying growth could fall to zero, give or take 1% or 2%.

“I think you’re going to get a meaningful slowing of the economy,” Dalio said.

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