Biden? Trump? The Politics of Talking About It at the Office.

Hoffman encouraged his contacts to consider how Trump’s supporters reacted when he was convicted of 34 felonies:

“They ruthlessly and immediately closed ranks, because they understand that at this stage of the race, they must spend every minute and dime either boosting their old man, or tearing down ours. If we’re musing on Biden’s flaws, we’re not organizing around Trump’s flaws. That’s bad for us and good for them.”

He also argued that Biden had the right team; the right “values, instincts, patriotism and courage”; and still a chance at winning the race:

“The fundamentals matter vastly more than a single debate. Perhaps the best historical analogy is from 1984, when Ronald Reagan’s first debate performance raised concerns about his age. He turned things around in the next debate, and won the election in a landslide.”

Dalio, by contrast, focused on who might replace Biden as a candidate, suggesting that the choice could shape the next era of politics. The Republican side will consist of “players from the hard right,” he wrote, and Biden’s replacement would determine whether the Democratic side would “be from the soft left (socialists with liberal values) or hard left (closer to communists).”

He explained:

“We should be thinking about 1) the choice being between the right or left and how far right or left they are, and the facts that 2) the Republicans will field a leader and team that is from the hard right (strongly capitalist, nationalist, isolationist with deeply conservative values), 3) over the next few months, we will learn how far left the leader and players on the Democratic team will be, 4) the markets will prefer those on the right over those on the left, and 5) unfortunately, those of the bipartisan middle (i.e. those who respect civil rules of engagement and cooperate to create bipartisan leadership, which would be best) are pretty much out of the picture. Of course, personalities and competencies also matter some — unfortunately, personality will matter much more than competence.”

There wasn’t much optimism in Dalio’s email, which ended with his conclusion that the election is likely to come down to a choice between two extremists. “This leaves us with a pretty disturbing domestic picture in a world in which the other four big forces (debt/money/economics, international great power conflict, acts of nature/climate, and new technologies) will likely also be disruptive to the existing world order,” he wrote.


Ruchir Sharma is worried about America. The chair of Rockefeller International and a frequent business and markets commentator, he left his native India for the United States, partly inspired by Ronald Reagan’s promise of greater economic freedoms. Now, he warns that capitalism needs a reset.

DealBook talked to him about his new book, “What Went Wrong With Capitalism?” The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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