Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed or Fail
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Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed or Fail Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

4.6 out of 5 stars 591 ratings

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Product details

Listening Length 16 hours and 48 minutes
Author Ray Dalio
Narrator Ray Dalio, Jeremy Bobb
Audible.com Release Date November 30, 2021
Publisher Simon & Schuster Audio
Program Type Audiobook
Version Unabridged
Language English
ASIN B0873ZP8NG
Best Sellers Rank #72 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#1 in International Economics (Audible Books & Originals)
#1 in Economic History (Audible Books & Originals)
#1 in Macroeconomics (Audible Books & Originals)

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
591 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2021
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1.0 out of 5 stars Is this book aimed at an audience in Beijing?
By A Customer on December 10, 2021
The author of this book has established a great reputation for himself as a shrewd investor and the founder of a successful and storied hedge fund. Bridgewater Associates has attracted the best and the brightest. Intellectual honesty, rigor and reportedly brutal candor are hallmarks of the firm. All which makes this book eagerly anticipated.

And yet, this reader found the tome surprising for its lack of honesty. Worse, given the non-disclosure of at least one big fact, the work could be characterized as self-serving. Or, like war, is this book perhaps all about deception?

Nowhere in the tome is there reference to Bridgewater Associates’ $1.25 billion raise for its third investment fund in China, as reported in the Wall Street Journal on November 24, 2021. This, to quote the Journal, would “catapult[s] the hedge-fund firm into the ranks of the biggest foreign managers of private funds in the world’s second-largest economy”. The book was released November 30, 2021. Was the author aware of the fund’s placement before he published? Would it affect the reader’s treatment of his subject-matter? One could guess ‘probably’ on the former and ‘certainly’ on the latter. The author’s work is his own, but he writes “[t]he people and tools at Bridgewater were also invaluable to this research.”

As to honesty, let’s look at the testy issue of intellectual property – long seen as something at issue in US-China relations. While acknowledging “intellectual property” is a thing, the author devotes merely 6 references to intellectual property in the book. Six! One of them is about Americans stealing Chinese IP. Yet buried in a footnote is a CNBC Global CFO Survey that finds 20% of CFOs report to having had IP stolen by Chinese companies. To add insult to all innovators out there, the author contends that, you know, stealing IP has been going on, like, forever: “Stealing intellectual property has been going on for as long as there has been recorded history and has always been difficult to prevent”.

Wow.

Beyond the honesty, there’s just plain sloppy writing. Mr. Dalio may want to add a forceful editor to ‘triangulate’ with, to use his term for seeking counsel of notables. Consider this abominably ugly sentence, upon which a Kindle refund ought to issue:

“For example, it is because of the United States’ great global successes that the US dollar became the world’s dominant reserve currency, which allowed Americans to borrow excessively from the rest of the world (including from China), which put the US in the tenuous position of owing other countries (including China) a lot of money which has put those other countries in the tenuous position of holding the debt of an overly indebted country that is rapidly increasing and monetizing its debt and that pays significantly negative real interest rates to those holding its debt."

One could go on. The rule of law, treatment of human rights, appropriation of private property, freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, climate change... All of these weighty themes are curiously absent in a true discussion of the author’s putative Ruler Of The World In Waiting.

But what about insight on stuff the author knows a great deal? Money, central banks, reserve currencies and their role, historically in global growth and order? This is the stuff one could reasonably give Mr. Dalio a very high degree of competence. Well, here too the ball is dropped, hard. There was a lot of discussion here, but the discussion seemed frozen in 1990. There was materially zero discussion on arguably some of the tectonic shifts in history coming our way – some of which may truly change the world order. For example, how are Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and sovereignty-agnostic crypto to change the very nature of money itself? Or the world order therein? You don’t have to be a crypto bull to argue that digitization of fiat currencies is a Thing. That. Merits. Discussion. Yet here too, zero. Perhaps it was too sensitive for the audience in Beijing, given their own CBDC initiatives.

A nit now, perhaps. But there are a lot of ugly meaningless charts. My candidate for indictment is the bell curve chart (reproduced in the photo attached to this review). It depicts two nations’ relative position of dominance in the world – the USA and China. The bell curve has ‘The Top’ at the peak and the label “CHN -> The Rise” on the ascendant curve, and “USA -> The Decline” on its descendant. Would a sentence like “China is on the rise to the top, while the US is declining past its peak” do instead? And isn’t that really the only chart that Mr. Dalio wanted to impart in the whole book, given the audience in Beijing and the Bridgewater investment in China? More to the point, should we just have dispensed with all the charts and words and ‘triangulation’ and dinner parties with Lee Kuan Yew and paid our $16.99 for a Kindle version of that sentence?

So to the reader-to-be, my advice is simply this. Save your money. The only real point is Mr. Dalio’s contention that China is on the ascendant slope, and the USA is past its prime. Because that is a message that resonates well with readers in Beijing, where he is wanting to be seen as playing nice.
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551 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on December 5, 2021
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156 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on November 30, 2021
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Top reviews from other countries

Yaroslav Pentsarskyy
3.0 out of 5 stars It seems to be heavily biased and light on the practical principles
Reviewed in Canada on January 1, 2022
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6 people found this helpful
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Bernardo Andrews
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive analysis of the past. Not so good on future’s contingencies
Reviewed in Mexico on December 31, 2021
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Holmes Wang
5.0 out of 5 stars Knowledge expansion, critical thinking
Reviewed in Canada on January 6, 2022
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Stephanie Proctor
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read.
Reviewed in Canada on December 14, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must read.
Reviewed in Canada on December 15, 2021
I have never read any book faster than this one. And I it worth reading multiple times in my opinion. Thank you Ray for passing on and sharing the experience with readers.
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Kumar
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Reviewed in Canada on December 18, 2021
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