Dalio Criticizes Media ‘Distortions’ and Defends Bridgewater

  • Bridgewater founder says WSJ portrays firm as ‘oppressive’
  • Manager says turnover exceptionally low after first two years

Ray Dalio

Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg

Ray Dalio, founder of the world’s biggest hedge fund, lambasted inaccuracies in the mainstream media as a threat to society, citing what he says are distortions about his firm in a Wall Street Journal story last month.

The Dec. 22 article, which described software being developed by Bridgewater Associates to automate management decisions, portrayed the firm as “being a crazy, oppressive place run by a Dr. Frankenstein type character,” Dalio wrote on his LinkedIn page Tuesday. The Journal’s description of the program -- which uses data from sources including employee ratings of each other and personality tests -- was “sensationalistic and misleading,” he wrote.

“We have learned that this principled and systemized decision making process allows us to get above our emotional attachments to our own conclusions and focus instead on deciding what our decision making criteria should be, which ultimately leads to better decisions because computers can process these criteria in much better ways than humans can,” he wrote.

Dalio also said in his post that mainstream media is suffering from an epidemic of fake and distorted news, and that the industry should form a regulatory organization to set standards and oversee quality.

The Wall Street Journal stands by its reporting about Bridgewater Associates, Steve Severinghaus, a spokesman for the newspaper, said in an e-mail.

“We have reviewed the efforts undertaken for this article and are confident that the same high journalistic standards that have served the publication and its readers well for more than 125 years were fully applied in this instance,” he said.

A spokesman for Bridgewater declined to comment beyond Dalio’s post.

Dalio said the Journal’s report omitted several items provided to the newspaper that showed the success of Bridgewater’s unusual culture and employees’ long-term satisfaction with the firm. For example, while turnover at Bridgewater during the first two years is high at 21 percent and 10 percent, respectively, it drops off to 3 percent by the fifth year -- which is “exceptionally low,” he said. He added that 94 percent of employees believe that Bridgewater’s culture helps their personal evolution, according to the firm’s latest anonymous annual survey.

Business Insider earlier reported on Dalio’s post.

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