Sorkin: I have to know: Why do you wear your tie like that?
Gross: I came down here to Orange County in ’71 from L.A., and Pimco had this brand-new, beautiful building, but they didn’t have a gym or showers. I was an exercise nut. At noon, I’d change in the bathroom and then run for about five miles. Since there wasn’t a shower, I’d towel off as best I could, but I’d be sweating and hot for an hour or two. So in the afternoon, I began to just not tie my tie. Then a year or two later, I said: “Well, what the hell, I guess I’m not tying it in the afternoon, I’ll just not tie it in the morning either.”
→ The New York Times Magazine
Delighted to hear Bill Gross’ point of view regarding art collecting. He and his wife seem more impressed by stamps, which they’re renowned collectors.
I’ve never been much of an art aficionado myself, having settled for framing some All American Rockwells neatly clipped from old Saturday Evening Post covers. There was a time though when a well-publicized Rockwell came to auction and Sue and I expressed some interest. Ever since, we’ve been on the art house’s mailing lists and I must admit, it’s fun to browse through the Picassos, Rothkos, and whatever else currently frenzies modern collectors. I’m no expert though, and if I begin to pretend that I am, Sue puts me in my place because she’s the artist in the family. She likes to paint replicas of some of the famous pieces, using an overhead projector to copy the outlines and then just sort of fill in the spaces. “Why spend $20 million?” she’d say – “I can paint that one for $75”, and I must admit that one fabulous Picasso with signature “Sue”, heads the fireplace mantle in our bedroom
→ Janus Capital
Now that negative and in almost all cases low short term rates are expected to persist, long term bonds and similar duration assets do not offer the ability to pay claims 5, 10, 30 years into the future.
Monthly Investment Outlook from Bill Gross :
Good players know that it is critical to move quickly around the board, make acquisitions and then develop the properties by creating hotels. Three hotels on each property are desirable and of course as every Monopoly pro knows, it’s not Boardwalk or Park Place that are the key holdings but the Oranges and the Reds. Same thing in reality’s markets, I would suggest. Which companies and which investments to overweight and how much leverage to use usually point to the eventual winners. But an ample amount of cash is important as well as you land on other owners’ properties. You need liquidity to pay rent or service debt – otherwise you sell assets at a discounted price and are swiftly out of the game. That reminds me of Lehman Brothers and its aftermath. Early in Monopoly, property is king but later in the game, cash becomes king and those without cash and the ability to get it go bankrupt.
→ Janus Capital
In fact, there are four channels through which the real interest rate affects real commodity prices (aside from whatever effect it has via the level of economic activity).
First, high interest rates reduce the price of storable commodities by increasing the incentive for extraction today rather than tomorrow, thereby boosting the pace at which oil is pumped, gold is mined, or forests are logged.
Second, high rates also decrease firms’ desire to carry inventories (think of oil held in tanks).
Third, portfolio managers respond to a rise in interest rates by shifting out of commodity contracts (which are now an “asset class”) and into treasury bills.
Finally, high interest rates strengthen the domestic currency, thereby reducing the price of internationally traded commodities in domestic terms (even if the price has not fallen in foreign-currency terms).
→ Project Syndicate