Two persons walk behind the logo of the World Economic Forum at the meeting's conference center in Davos, Switzerland, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
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The $160bn Bridgewater hedge fund produced a chart last year about modern politics that was alarming for at least two reasons.Second, the chart showed that the only time an increase of this magnitude occurred in recent memory was in the 1930s, when another financial crisis led to populism. Nearly all – 93 per cent – WEF members think that political and economic conflicts between countries will increase this year; 79 per cent believe there is a rising danger of military conflicts; and 78 per cent expect that large countries will be drawn into regional battles.One longstanding joke about the WEF, which will undoubtedly surface again at next week's summit, is that investors should treat the Davos debate as a contra-indicator, as it usually tends to miss the important issues of the day.Although charts such as Bridgewater's are fascinating, the 1930s is not the only decade that investors need to study.
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