Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bill Gross: Big Bet, Big Fail?

A threefer. First up, Financial Ninja:
I don’t like Bill Gross at all.

Pimco: Treasury needed to stop asset deflation: “To stop a sell-off of debt and other assets, the U.S. government will have to bring in new policies to open up the Treasury Department's balance sheet, said the manager of the world's biggest bond fund on Thursday.

"If we are to prevent a continuing asset and debt liquidation of near historic proportions, we will require policies that open up the balance sheet of the U.S. Treasury," wrote Bill Gross, chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co, or Pimco, in his September Investment Outlook.

"To ultimately stop this asset/debt deflation, a fresh and substantial new source of buying power is required," Gross wrote....
...You see, Bill Gross is balls deep into Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) agency debt. He bet big on a bailout that would make him whole. The rat-bastard will only make money if taxpayers get raped.

Pimco’s chief piles into mortgage debt: “Bill Gross, the manager of the world’s biggest bond fund, has switched gears to make a big bet on mortgage debt, almost tripling his holding of it to more than 60 per cent of the fund....MORE
From Infectious Greed:
Am I the only one irritated by the fawning treatment given Pimco's Bill Gross and his commentary today? His implicit threat of a bond buyer's strike -- he wants the Fed to get off its ass and backstop Freddie/Fannie -- is so deliriously self-serving. He is into mortgage-backed bonds and FHM/FRE up to his neck, and now he wants Treasury to bail him out or he'll stop buying? How lovely. And, oh yes, I'm highly fond of the "new balance sheet" euphemism than he coins in the piece.
From Naked Capitalism:
Bill Gross of Pimco's monthly newsletter, "There's a Bull Market Somewhere?" is out and making the rounds. The title refers to a Jim Cramer dictum. Tthe bond chief uses to argue that asset prices are declining on all fronts, which he then contends that the US government must reverse (boldface his):...

...Despite Gross' lament (his firm is a big holder of Fannie and Freddie paper, so the pain must be acute), this isn't factually correct. As readers have pointed out repeatedly, Treasuries are in what one might contend is a massive bull market, with the ten year bond trading under 4% (it was 3.74% a couple of days ago). The dollar has rallied and Gross is overselling his case on commodites. Yes, they are down markedly since July, but over the last 12 months, they are still up nicely. 30% plus gains in a year (and some indexes are up nearly 45%) is nothing to sniff at.

The next bit is a doozy:...MORE