This blogpost is about the book, “The Bond King”, written by Mary Childs.

This book reads like a family soap opera except the setting is a corporate setting. There are some broad numbers thrown at various points in the book, but this book is clearly targeted towards a reader who wants to get the inside scoop of PIMCO and how did Bill Gross build such an empire. The following are some of the questions that the book tries to answer:

  1. How did Bill Gross start PIMCO in the first place ? Who funded his venture ?
  2. Who were the initial recruits that helped PIMCO rise ?
  3. What was Bill Gross management style ?
  4. How did PIMCO profit from sub prime crisis ?
  5. How did PIMCO front run government decisions ?
  6. How did Bill Gross market his funds ?
  7. What was the succession plan for PIMCO after Bill Gross ?
  8. Why did Bill Gross move to Janus after building a vast empire ?
  9. What was a typical day at work for Bill Gross ?
  10. What were some of the strategies that he relied on for beating the benchmark year on year ?
  11. What loop holes in the futures market did his team exploit to reap millions of profits ?
  12. How did he smartly used his news letter and talk shows to influence the market and at the same time made his investment strategies profitable ?
  13. Who is Mohamed A. El-Erian and what did he do at PIMCO ?
  14. Why did PIMCO shut all its equity offerings?
  15. How did PIMCO manage its ETF ? What did it do to outperform the benchmark ?
  16. How did Bill Gross institutionalize a intense work culture that was willing to slog in order to extract basis points from the markets?
  17. What happened with his personal life and all the divorces that he went through ?
  18. What is the AUM Total Return Fund over the years ?
  19. What was the relationship between PIMCO and FED?
  20. Who was Neel Kashkari and what was his experience at PIMCO ?
  21. What was “The Mexico Trade” , the result of which PIMCO profited immensely ?
  22. What is rule 17a-7 and how PIMCO use it to hide outflows ?
  23. What was “Ginnie Mae CDR Trade” and what did PIMCO do to make a ton of money ?
  24. How did PIMCO team revolt against Bill Gross that eventually made him leave the company


This book is for general audience and doesn’t have massive numbers or charts to tell the story. It is more like a soap opera with a star cast from the field of finance. If you are curious about how PIMCO was built, the book can be a good sunday afternoon read. It is easy on eyes and can be easily read in a few hours.