356: Mary Childs | A Story Of Bond Market Maneuvering In “The Bond King”

You may have thought of the bond market as a relatively calm and uncompetitive location where the idea of getting big profits is not as common, but Bill Gross did not see it that way. In The Bond King: How One Man Made a Market, Built an Empire, and Lost It All, author Mary Childs takes us through his story of growth and scenarios along the way. She takes us through the story, and we also cover her Planet Money podcast, here on episode 356 of the show.

“From the host of NPR’s Planet Money, the deeply-investigated story of how one visionary, dogged investor changed American finance forever. Before Bill Gross was known among investors as the Bond King, he was a gambler. In 1966, a fresh college grad, he went to Vegas armed with his net worth ($200) and a knack for counting cards. $10,000 and countless casino bans later, he was hooked: so he enrolled in business school.

The Bond King is the story of how that whiz kid made American finance his casino. Over the course of decades, Bill Gross turned the sleepy bond market into a destabilized game of high risk, high reward; founded Pimco, one of today’s most powerful, secretive, and cutthroat investment firms; helped to reshape our financial system in the aftermath of the Great Recession—to his own advantage; and gained legions of admirers, and enemies, along the way. Like every American antihero, his ambition would also be his undoing.

To understand the winners and losers of today’s money game, journalist Mary Childs argues, is to understand the bond market—and to understand the bond market is to understand the Bond King.”

Mary Childs is an American financial journalist, and non-fiction writer. She is co-host for Planet Money. She graduated from Washington and Lee University. She reported for Barron’s, the Financial Times, and Bloomberg News.


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