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Bill Gross Hates ‘Freedom,’ Has Inebriated Talks With Tim Geithner, and Considers Bond Trading ‘An Adult Form of Gambling.’

You might think you know everything there is to know about Bill Gross, the Pimco boss who seems to be one of the media’s favorite financial experts.

Bill Gross of PIMCO participates in a conference on the future of housing finance at the Treasury Department in Washington, DC.
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Bill Gross of PIMCO participates in a conference on the future of housing finance at the Treasury Department in Washington, DC.

So you know he lives in Newport Beach. You probably know he’s really into yoga. He spends his mornings in silence, more or less meditating in front of trading screens.

But Joanna Slater, of Canada’s Globe and Mail, has some new insights into the life and times of Gross.





  • His parents are from Canada (which explains the Globe and Mail’s interest in writing this profile).
  • He doesn’t like Jonathan Franzen, author of the new novel “Freedom.” He does like Philip Roth, the author of a forthcoming novel about polio in Newark.
  • He doesn’t have a cell phone. When people want to reach him after office hours, they have to call his wife. (Quick and unfair but perfectly normal question: what kind of man hands out his wife’s phone number to other men?)
  • He doesn’t drink very much. A beer and half is “as far as I go,” he tells Slater.
  • At least once, however, he’s had a talk with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in a post-beer-and-a-half inebriated state.
  • One spent four months in Vegas playing blackjack, turning $200 into $10,000.
  • After his gambling stint, he turned to being a bond manager because it seemed like an “adult form of gambling.”

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