Commentary

Killing Each Other

Bill Gross' March 2018 Investment Outlook: A monthly outlook on the global financial markets.

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Bill Gross Investment Outlook: Bonds, Men, It’s About Time

Women have gotten the short stick or metaphorically the short rib ever since Eve, and I’m with Oprah for president and much, much more but hey, guys have got a few positive qualities that need to be mentioned.

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Bill Gross July 2017 Investment Outlook: Curveball

“Kill the Umpire”, the fan cried to open the 1996 baseball season in Cincinnati, and 7 pitches later, the man behind the plate, John McSherry, was dead, all 320 pounds of him screaming for more oxygen to feed his struggling heart. He’d been killed by his poor health, by a billion molecules of sink-clogging cholesterol that fed on his coronary artery and sucked up his life’s blood like a vampire at midnight.

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Investment Outlook: How to Make Money

Because of the secular headwinds facing global economies, currently labeled as the “New Normal” or “Secular Stagnation”, investors have resorted to “making money with money” as opposed to old-fashioned capitalism when money and profits were made with capital investment in the real economy.

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Brainteasers

A recent Internet blog posed the predicament of many medium/long-term relationships: At some point couples run out of historical stories or even topical things to say. After all, there are only so many Trump tweets you can talk about, and you've long since agreed to disagree about the meaning of life.

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March 2017 Investment Outlook: "Show Me the Money"

"School days" inexorably continue at the Gross household, not just because of grandchildren, but because of the necessity to teach my own kids the complexities and pitfalls of investing.

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February 2017 Investment Outlook: "Happiness Runs"

I think a lot about happiness - what makes a person happy, whether or not happiness should even be a life's priority - things like that. A good high school friend stunned me at the early age of 17 by suggesting we should not necessarily try to be happy. Sacrifice, service, devotion to a cause were higher orders, he felt, although presumably, since those were choices, their pursuit could secondarily lead to happiness.

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Investment Outlook: Echoes from Africa

I traveled once to Africa, as you might have guessed by now, and it's been a part of me ever since. Being perhaps the cradle of civilization, if not life itself, Africa casts an eerie glow over the entire history and, indeed, meaning of existence.

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Increasingly Addled

Long ago and far away in the adolescent cauldron known as Los Altos High School, I attended a senior U.S. history class with a man-child named Delos Roman. He was appropriately christened it seems, because his body resembled that of Zeus, the God of Thunder, and at 6’4”/230 pounds, he rumbled down the football sidelines like a Mack truck on a downhill mountain road.
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It's a Xanax World

The Romans gave their Plebian citizens a day at the Coliseum, and the French royalty gave the Bourgeoisie a piece of figurative “cake”, so it may be true to form that in the still prosperous developed economies of 2016, we provide Fantasy Sports, cellphone game apps, sexting, and fast food to appease the masses. Keep them occupied and distracted at all costs before they recognize that half of the U.S. population doesn’t go to work in the morning and that their real wages after conservatively calculated inflation have barely budged since the mid 1980’s.
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Breaking News!

Tired of reading about the Kardashians? Sick of egocentric politicians? Disgusted with endless war in the Middle East? Getting bored reading these monthly Outlooks? (not that bored or you wouldn’t be reading this). Here’s some “breaking news” that I find really interesting and I hope you will too. It’s a recent summary of some things that scientists have discovered over the last few decades. Prepare to be amazed.
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It’s the Zero Bound Yield Curve, Stupid!

I have been increasingly suspicious since late 2011 that Sir Thomas Gresham (1519-1579) may be the modern John Maynard Keynes. I said as much in a Financial Times op-ed when I wrote in December of that year, that the famous “Gresham’s Law” needs a corollary. Not only does “bad money drive out good money” but “cheap money” may do harm as well. Just as Newtonian physics breaks down, and Einsteinian theories prevail at the speed of light, so too might easy money, which has invariably led to stronger economic recoveries, now fail to stimulate growth close to the zero bound.
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Saved by Zero?

So the Fed has chosen to hold off on their goal of normalizing interest rates and the ECB has countered with the threat of extending their scheduled QE with more checks and more negative interest rates and the investment community wonders how long can this keep goin’ on. For a long time I suppose, as evidenced by history at least.
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Say A Little Prayer

I’m not what you would call a “prayerful” type of guy. Even at 30,000 feet, when the air gets rough, I never invoke the “God” word, settling instead for promising myself that if I ever get back to terra firma, I will never fly again, which I promptly forget days or even hours later. It’s not that I’m a non-believer in prayer’s ultimate destination, but more of a cynical take on why the Lord would hand out party favors to everyone that asked, or to those that asked most intently.
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It Never Rains in California

Ted Cruz recently suggested praying for rain in Texas, and apparently someone did a few weeks ago, producing a deluge resembling a modern day Noah’s Ark of sorts. California’s Governor Brown on the other hand, has taken a more secular approach. He believes that Mammon, not God, bears responsibility for the Golden State’s record drought and that I, we, all of us simple folk should cut back water usage by a minimum of 25%.