Mary Childs (financial journalist and co-host of NPR’s Planet Money) joins us to discuss her recent book The Bond King: How One Man Made a Market, Built an Empire, and Lost It All.
This is the story of Bill Gross, the legendary investor and fund manager who revolutionised the bond market.
Before Bill Gross, bonds were the sleepy backbone of retirement accounts, paying the holders a steady stream of coupons each year. But Gross upended all that.
After co-founding investment giant Pimco in the 1970s, Gross pioneered active bond trading: buying, selling and exploiting any advantage to eke out extra returns for investors.
But Pimco was riven by internal political battles and a toxic culture. It all came to a head in 2014. With the performance of the fund now lacklustre, Gross’s behaviour became increasingly erratic and internal conflict led to the resignation of CEO Mohamed El-Erian.
Bill Gross left Pimco later that year in an acrimonious departure that rocked the financial world.