Looking at Bridgewater’s very long-term cycles analysis, the Speaker notes that it would be a mistake to bet America’s future will be like its glorious past. These cycles have occurred for as long as history has been written.

In the first stage, countries are poor and think that they are poor. In the second stage, countries are rich but still think they are poor. In the third stage, countries are rich and think of themselves as rich. And in the fourth stage, countries become poorer and still think of themselves as rich. This encapsulates the US experience during the 2000’s.

This is the leveraging up phase—debts rise relative to incomes until they can’t anymore. The psychological shift behind this leveraging up occurs because the people who lived through the first two stages have died off or become irrelevant and those whose behavior matters most are used to living well and n


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