And here’s a research analyst on Pimco’s other serious conflicts of interest:
Josh Rosner of research firm Graham Fisher is not happy with Pimco’s dual roles as private investor and manager of government bailout programs. “Gross is a deeply conflicted player given undue sway in matters of public interest that are potentially at odds with his positions.”
Pimco also flexed its muscle on the GMAC bailout and came out clean as a whistle:
The case of GMAC also raises questions about Pimco’s power. Last fall GMAC executives applied to make GMAC a bank holding company so that it could access federal funds. Before they would approve the move, federal regulators insisted that 75% of GMAC’s bonds be swapped for equity to shore up the company’s capital base. Offering 60 cents on the dollar, GMAC was able to buy 59% of its bonds. But Pimco, which held a big chunk, refused the deal. The government blinked, allowing GMAC to become a bank holding company in late December even though it hadn’t met the 75% threshold. After the conversion, GMAC bonds rose in value; Pimco says it plans to hold them to maturity.
Look, I like Bill Gross. I think he’s one of the smartest guys around. But nobody should have that kind of power, even as a last resort in this kind of economy. These entities need to be split up or forced to downsize in other ways until they no longer have the financial system and our democratically elected representatives over a barrel. It’s plain as day.
Good for Fortune for taking this story head-on.