A Wall Street Journal story published Friday reported that Bridgewater Associates is betting big on a market downturn. Ray Dalio, the hedge fund firm’s founder, says it’s wrong.
According to the Journal’s story, entitled “Bridgewater Bets Big on Market Drop,” the hedge fund giant has purchased $1.5 billion in put options betting that the S&P 500 stock index, the Euro Stoxx 50, or both would fall by March.
Dalio contended in a LinkedIn post published midday Friday that the story was overblown.
“I want to make clear that we don’t have any such net bet that the stock market will fall,” Dalio wrote. “We explained to Juliet Chung, the author of the article, that to convey us having a bearish view of the stock market would be misleading, but it was done anyway.”
The story, written by both Chung and Gunjan Banerji, credited people familiar with the matter, including clients, as sources for the story. Dow Jones stands by the Wall Street Journal’s reporting, according to a spokesperson.
“The Journal’s article is based on interviews with multiple sources and we stand by the conclusions we reported,” said Dow Jones’ senior director of communications Steve Severinghaus in an email. “The article does not report, as Mr. Dalio says, that Bridgewater has a ‘net’ bearish position on the stock market. The article made clear that the trade could be a hedge for the firm's significant long exposure to equity markets, among other possibilities.”
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A Bridgewater spokesperson responded in the Journal’s story by saying that the firm declined to comment on its trades, adding: “We have no positions that are intended to either hedge or bet on any potential political developments in the U.S.,” the report published Friday showed.
Dalio used his post to make a point about the “sensationalistic headlines,” which he said many writers want “above all else, even if the facts don’t square with the headlines.”
“You can believe me, or you can believe the Wall Street Journal writer,” Dalio wrote. “I hope you have come to know that you can believe me.”