Biden? Trump? The politics of talking about it in the office.

Hoffman encouraged his contacts to think about how Trump’s supporters reacted when he was convicted of 34 crimes:

“They closed ranks ruthlessly and immediately because they understand that at this point in the race, they have to spend every minute and penny either building up their old man or tearing down ours. If we dwell on Biden’s shortcomings, we’re not organizing around Trump’s shortcomings. 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 to win the race:

“The fundamentals are much more important than any one debate. Perhaps the best historical analogy comes from 1984, when Ronald Reagan’s first debate appearance raised concerns about his age. He turned things around in the next debate and won the election by a landslide.”

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

He explained:

“We should be thinking about 1) the choice between right and left and how far right or left they are, and the facts that 2) the Republicans will field a leader and team that comes from the far right (strongly capitalist, nationalist, isolationist with deeply conservative values), 3) we will learn in the coming months how far left the leader and players on the Democratic team will be, 4) the markets will favor those on the right over those on the left, and 5) unfortunately, those in the bipartisan middle (i.e., those who respect the civic rules of engagement and work together to create bipartisan leadership, which would be best) are pretty much out of the picture. Of course, personalities and competencies matter somewhat — unfortunately, personality is going to be far more important than competency.”

There was little optimism in Dalio’s email, which ended with his conclusion that the election will likely come down to a choice between two extremists. “This leaves us with a rather troubling domestic picture in a world where the other four major forces (debt/money/economy, international superpower conflict, nature/climate, and new technologies) are also likely to be disruptive to the existing global order,” he wrote.

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

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

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