This is pretty great.
Back in 2008, Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio put out a paper titled "How the Economic Machine Works: Leveragings and Deleveragings." It was a long slog through history that explained why the financial sector and the economy had fallen into such dire straits.
Over the years, the paper was revised and expanded. It now runs to 210 pages and bears the title "Economic Principles." This, of course, is an intentional reference to Dalio's previous book-length paper titled simply "Principles."
Even if you aren't a Dalio fanatic, it makes for fascinating reading. Bridgewater is the largest hedge fund in the world, so it makes sense to understand how its founder views the mechanics of our economy. To twist a phrase, you might not be interested in Dalio's view of the economy, but Dalio's view of the economy is interested in you.
Helpfully, the Bridgewater folks have put together a video version of the Economic Principles. It runs to 30 minutes, which is long for an online video but much shorter than it would take you to read the thing.
(If the embedded version doesn't work, go directly to YouTube here.)
—By CNBC's John Carney. Follow me on Twitter @Carney