In the world of bonds, few firms are as powerful and enduring as PIMCO. And few investors are as storied as Bill Gross whose impact on active fixed income trading and risk management has been substantial. The “Bond King”, by Mary Childs, is a compellingly researched and written book on these two subject matters. Through hours of direct conversation with Bill Gross, discussions with many of the significant players at PIMCO and a careful recounting of some of the most consequential events in market history, Mary presents a story that began in the early 1970’s, reaching a tumultuous unwind in 2014.
Through our discussion, we learn of Mary’s first interaction with Bill Gross, finding herself at Bloomberg as a reporter and on the wrong side of communicating a p/l number he took issue with. Motivated to bring the less well understood world of fixed income to life, she set out to chronicle the founding of PIMCO and its tremendous growth under the leadership of Bill Gross. Along the way, we learn of clever arbitrage trades from the 1980’s, we revisit the global financial crisis and we get an inside look at the personalities that formed a culture both intense and deeply committed to research.
I hope you enjoy this episode of the Alpha Exchange, my conversation with Mary Childs.