Ray Dalio, one of the world's richest hedge fund managers, fears that the weak economy could have disastrous social consequences. Specifically, he's worried about the possibility of a tyrant like Adolf Hitler rising to power.
"When people get at each other's throat, the rich and the poor and the left and the right and so on, and you have a basic breakdown, that becomes very threatening," Dalio, who founded Bridgewater Associates, where he remains co-chief investment officer, told CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin in an interview aired on Friday.
"For example, Hitler came to power in 1933, which was the depth of the Great Depression because of the social tension between the factions."
Dalio warned that "another leg down in the economies" could cause "social disruptions," but did note that citizens can prevent the rise of another Hitler if they "work through this together."
Dalio, who is worth an estimated $10 billion, is not the only financier worried about social unrest. George Soros, another billionaire who made his fortune in the hedge fund industry, has repeatedly warned of the possibility of social unrest as governments around the world slash spending even as unemployment remains high.
(Hat tip: Business Insider's Joe Weisenthal.)
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A central tenet to the Occupy Wall Street movement, a call for economic justice has brought increased <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/31/income-inequality-poll_n_1067605.html" target="_hplink">exposure to the widening gap between the United States' wealthiest and poorest citizens</a>.
Robin Hood Tax
One of Occupy's more specific demands is the Robin Hood Tax, otherwise known as the financial transaction tax. It has gained greater prominence thanks to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/24/occupy-wall-street-g20_n_1028843.html" target="_hplink">Occupy-sponsored demonstratoins as well as a campaign during a G20 summit last year</a>.
Student Loan Debt
When the total value of student loan debt reached $1 trillion in April, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/25/occupy-student-debt-occupy-obama-_n_1453993.html" target="_hplink">Occupy brought attention to the issue by sponsoring protests asking for loan forgiveness across the country</a>.
The Volcker Rule
In line with its protest against Wall Street and big banks, Occupy brought attention to the Volcker rule, a largely unenforced Dodd-Frank provision that limits a bank's ability to make speculative trades with its own accounts, otherwise known as proprietary trading. Some protestors even went so far as to draft a <a href="http://www.salon.com/2012/02/15/occupy_defends_the_volcker_rule/" target="_hplink">325-page letter to the SEC supporting the rule</a>.
On <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/09/occupy-wall-street-foreclosures_n_1412771.html" target="_hplink">several occasions</a>, Occupy Wall Street has sparked national interest in individual cases of foreclosure. Among them is the successful campaign to save the home of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/07/helen-bailey-foreclosure_n_1260078.html" target="_hplink">78-year-old former civil rights activist Helen Bailey</a>.
Political Favoring Of The Rich
Very much the movement of the underdog, Occupy has been an outspoken critic of policies that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/03/patriotic-millionaires-occupy-wall-street_n_993360.html" target="_hplink">favor corporations or the rich, including the Bush-era tax cuts</a> and Wall Street bailouts.
The issue of <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/10/24/141663195/what-is-the-basis-for-corporate-personhood" target="_hplink">corporate personhood</a>, including the ability of corporations to donate to outside political spending, has gained increased attention thanks to <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/23560963@N03/" target="_hplink">Occupy protests</a>.