Does Criticism of Bridgewater Miss The Point? – ValueWalk Premium

Does Criticism of Bridgewater Miss The Point?

Ray Dalio, founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, has a problem with “fake and distorted media,” which he says “is not just a fringe media problem; it is a mainstream media problem.” The head of the $160 million Bridgewater Associates says The Wall Street Journal, in a widely read December 22 article, engaged in “intentional distortions” that defamed the company and its founder. Are the charges accurate? That depends on with whom one talks.

Bridgewater calls out mainstream media "fake news"
Taking a page from President-elect Donald Trump’s book on media management, Dalio, in a Linkedin post Tuesday, started the year with a bang.

Dalio once again focused his glare on The Wall Street Journal, specifically calling out journalists Rob Copeland and Bradley Hope as part of an “epidemic” of “fake news” inflicting the mainstream media. Dalio claims The Wall Street Journal is intentionally writing “misleading stories about Bridgewater even when we cooperated with them…”

Dalio claims that The Journal was pointed to accurate information but did not investigate. Nearly one year ago Bridgewater had claimed a Wall Street Journal article by the same reporters was a "sensationalist mischaracterization."

The article painted a picture of an off-kilter environment where “Mr. Dalio frequently develops new ways to enforce his philosophy.” The building of a quantitative division and the “Systematized Intelligence Lab” was reported as less focusing on finding “hidden signals in the financial markets” and more focused on “analyzing the torrent of data the firm gathers about its employees.”  The Wall Street Journal attempted to characterize Bridgewater’s quantitative efforts as “like trying to make Ray’s brain into a computer.”

The newspaper's negative portrayal of the fund known for “radical transparency,” where employees speak their mind regardless of who the speech offends, is done for a reason. Dalio claimed the article intentionally painted in inaccurate picture “because that fit better with their desire to paint a picture of Bridgewater being a crazy, oppressive place run by a Dr. Frankenstein type character…”

Dalio also takes issues with how the firm's top employees have been depicted. This includes concerns about James Comey, now director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who was portrayed as not being innovative and unhappy in the environment, the Journal article said, with criticisms of Comey attributed to Dalio by unnamed sources.


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