Sideways: The secret diary of Bill Gross, part II

By:
Jon Macaskill
Published on:

Jon Macaskill imagines how the star fund manager ruminates over his legal assault on his former Pimco colleagues.

It has been three weeks now since I dropped my legal bombshell on those money-grubbing creeps I used to call colleagues at Pimco, and not a peep from Newport Beach.

They are clearly giving in, so I can decide how to use the $200 million they owe me. I am not driven by a lust for power, greed and a desire to improve my own financial position (unlike some people!), so I will be giving the money to charity.

When the ASPCA has a new luxury home for cats dedicated to my brother’s beloved pet Stinky, I think everyone will understand why I was forced to go public with the details of how I was thrown out of Pimco.

It all started when my deputy Mohamed El-Erian said that he wanted to open up a cheesecake factory in Newport Beach selling stocks, copper futures and those ETFs that give you double your money if a lunar eclipse coincides with a meteor storm.

"That’s not what we do Mo," I told him. "We do bonds and burgers. They call me the Bond and Burger King, not the Count of Cheesecake. What the hell is wrong with you?"

He just went quiet and started growing back his moustache with a sullen look on his face.

Then a few weeks later a guy came to see me who said his name was Doug Hodge and he was the new CEO. "Mo was very upset about the way you spoke to him Bill, and now he has left Pimco to write articles for the Financial Times about the New Normal and spend more time, helping his daughter with her Halloween costume," he said.

"What do I care?" I replied. "Plus I invented the New Normal, which everybody knows, so he better not use that in his articles or he’ll be hearing from my lawyers."

"The thing is Bill, we’re going to need to make a few changes around here," he said. He then trooped in a bunch of people – all strangers to me – and claimed they were the members of the Pimco executive committee.

"And this is Herr Diekmann from Munich who gives us $1.3 billion to split between ourselves each year," he said, pointing to a tall blond man with wire-rimmed glasses.

"Well come on in people," I said. "You can take the other seat Herr Diekmann, the rest of you guys stand by the fish tank."

The next few minutes are painful even to recall. Doug Hodge – if that was his real name – said everybody thought it was unfair that I got $300 million of the $1.3 billion each year, and that maybe we could change it so I got a bit less when my bond fund underperformed the market.

I could hardly believe my ears!

"Are you guys for real?" I asked them. "I built this city on rock and roll, burgers and bonds and it has my name on the door – not literally, but you know."

"Maybe we could reach a compromise and open a burger and cheesecake factory and I’ll throw in another few $100 million so everyone is happy," suggested Herr Diekmann.

"With all due respect Herr Diekmann, you’re not from round here," I told him. "Americans don’t buy burgers and cheesecake from the same place, and certainly not from a factory. We buy burgers, then if we are still hungry we drive 50 miles for cheesecake, but mainly we just buy burgers. Times are tough!"

It was at that point I noticed that one of the guys by the fish tank had his phone on speaker and was talking into it with some kind of Hugh Grant accent.

"No that’s fine Mo, run it in the FT tomorrow and I’ll give some more to the Journal for the day after," he said.

That’s when I knew I would have to get my lawyers involved if I was to make sure that I wasn’t the one who ended up looking like a money-crazed lunatic.