Bill Gross and the Devil’s Bargain

by takingpitches

I am not posting this to either endorse or oppose Bill Gross’s view (and although I have an opinion, I recognize there generally has been oversimplification of the issue in different directions (both in terms of Wall Street bashing and Wall Street apology)), but because I do find it interesting that the “Bond King” and someone who has benefited from the very trend that he is criticizing is the one saying this.  I am an admirer of people who can achieve success by mastering the world as it is, but not go around pretending that what they are doing is God’s work. Many are successful at the former, but few are also successful at the latter. There is something particularly refreshing about those who can do both, and something particularly annoying about those who fall short of both. (Of course, those who can figure out what God’s work is and truly accomplish that are those to be admired most, but these are probably the rarest of folk.)  Here is Bill’s quote from February’s Investment Outlook:

“Money would also become the economic and political wedge for profound changes in American society. Fifty years ago, the highest paid and most prestigious professions were that of a doctor or a 707 airline pilot who flew the “golden” route from Los Angeles to Honolulu. Today the yellow brick road begins on Wall Street or the City. Aside from supernova innovators such as Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, the money is made from securitizing things instead of booting and rebuilding America. The tallest buildings in almost every major city are banks, with tens of thousands of people shuffling and trading paper for a living. One of this country’s premier investment banks paid each of its 26,000 employees an average of $370,000 in 2010, nearly ten times the take-home pay of other American workers. Almost a quarter of the 400 wealthiest people on Forbes annual richest list make their money from money, whereas only 8% could make that claim in its first issue in 1982, and probably close to 0% when I first read my economic primer in 1966.”

You may also like