Ray Dalio Does the Math: Rates at 4.5% Would Sink Stocks by 20%

Ray Dalio came out with a gloomy prediction for stocks and the economy after a hotter-than-expected inflation print rattled financial markets around the globe this week.

“It looks like interest rates will have to rise a lot (toward the higher end of the 4.5% to 6% range),” the billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates LP wrote in a LinkedIn article dated Tuesday. “This will bring private sector credit growth down, which will bring private sector spending and, hence, the economy down with it.”

A mere increase in rates to about 4.5% would lead to a plunge of around 20% in equity prices based on the present value discount effect, he said. On top of that he estimates a 10% negative impact from declining incomes.

The rate market suggests traders have fully priced in a 75-basis-point hike next week by the Federal Reserve, with a slight chance for a full percentage point move. Traders expect the Fed fund rate to peak at close to 4.5% next year, from the current range of 2.25% and 2.5%.

Dalio noted investors may still be too complacent about long-term inflation. While the bond market suggests traders are expecting an average annual inflation rate of 2.6% over the next decade, his “guesstimate” is that the increase will be around 4.5% to 5%. With economic shocks, it may be even “significantly higher,” he added.