Several weeks back, bond manager Bill Gross wrote a very personal letter to investors about feeling fat. In it, he spoke of hating his “spare tire,” feeling self-conscious about wearing a bathing suit, and preferring to be shot dead than getting a glimpse of what his ass has become. Today, Bill sent out another letter, entitled “Mea Culpa,” in which he apologized to PIMCO investors for the poor performance of the firm’s Total Return Fund (which through Wednesday was up a mere 1.1 percent versus the 5.7 percent benchmark). And yet perhaps it is the investors who should be apologizing to Mr. Bill?

Because it would appear they have only themselves to blame for 1) the performance of the fund and 2) Gross’s expanding waist-line and body issues.

According Gross, he and El-Erian have felt so sick over the fund’s returns that they’ve been spending all their waking hours at the the office trying to turn things around, focusing on precious little else, like working on those obliques.

…introspective mea culpas are perhaps cleansing but somewhat suspicious in nature. The purpose and even the author’s subjective assessment can always be legitimately questioned. But suspicions aside, let me begin by stating this: There is no “quit” in me or anyone else on the PIMCO premises. The early morning and even midnight hours have gone up, not down, to match the increasing complexity of the global financial markets. The competitive fire burns even hotter. I/ we respect our competition but we want to squash them each and every day. You the client have 100% of our attention as always, as do your portfolios…So where do we go from here? Our internal growth forecast for developed economies is now 0% over the coming several quarters and the portfolio more accurately reflects this posture. Yet even so, can the golden glove regain its magic? Well, as I’ve indicated, we’re showing up early every day at the ballpark – in this case for a little fielding practice.

Additionally, Gross also told investors in a conference call this morning that he had “emails to prove” he’s been “working every day and all night,” rather than jerking around on the golf course. And therein lies the rub, ladies! Bill’s had no to time hit the gym because he’s spending all his time working on fixing this stupid fund, which has in turn caused him to pack on the pounds, which has resulted in a shame spiral of eating his emotions at the desk, generally in the form of carbs, specifically in the form of those “family-size Cool Ranch Doritos” Kashkari has left over from his Treasury days. He eats when he underperforms and when he underperforms he eats. Rather than asking for your forgiveness, he should be asking that you get off his ass so he can get back to business.

Mea Culpa [PDF]
Earlier: Bill Gross Feels Fat

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Comments (82)

  1. Posted by HFguy | October 14, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Could have been worse
    John "burping on 5000 bps" Paulson.

  2. Posted by J. Paulson | October 14, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    I had the same issue with this imaginary forrest

  3. Posted by Guest | October 14, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Cry me a billion dollar dollar river!

  4. Posted by Mea Culpa | October 14, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Hypothetically- if Joe Buck and Ned Flanders had a kid, and that kid wrote an investment outlook every month…well, you know where this is going

  5. Posted by Raj | October 14, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    I just put my lightly used home gym equipment on eBay if you are interested.

  6. Posted by Uncle Ted | October 14, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Bill Gross = Oyster Boy

  7. Posted by derp | October 14, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    You see, Kashkari is like the first guy in, at the crack of dawn. He sees my car, he figures I'm the first guy in. Then, the last person to leave is El-Erian. He sees my car, he figures I'm burning the midnight oil. Between the two of them, they think I'm working an 18 hour day!

  8. Posted by Abner Doubleday | October 14, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    Hard to keep score if you don't know the rules — E-8, not E-CF

  9. Posted by Koolaidisfun | October 14, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    El-Erian is usually there before Kashkari

  10. Posted by Kegels123 | October 14, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    You the client have 100% of our attention as always. That 100% breaks down as follows:

    40% manage portfolios
    10% Go on CNBC/Bloomberg to give my 2 cents and talk my own book
    10% write monthly outlook letter
    10% think about ridiculous things to say in outlook letters
    10% Drink Budweiser six-packs
    10% Golf and/or gym to try to lose spare tire
    10% Chill on Newport Beach
    10% Hang out in my $25mm palace and declare that although performance sucks this year, life is good


  11. Posted by Ardent1 | October 14, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    Bill forgot what he learned as a card counter — never bet more than his advantage. Bill's poor performance is due to his overbetting his positions.

  12. Posted by sssss | October 14, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    Those two jackasses spend the majority of every day on TV. STOP APPEARING ON MORONIC TV SHOWS AND DO SOME ACTUAL WORK, ASSHOLES.

  13. Posted by Guest | October 14, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    He would need this PR spin, wouldn't he. He's got the "WSJ" assertions to battle:

    "This year through the end of the third quarter, the fund attracted $183.5 million in new contributions, according to data compiled by fund tracker Lipper under the request of Dow Jones Newswires. The fund lured $17.6 billion in new money last year, $57.7 billion in 2009, and $20.4 billion in 2008.

    “For a fund with over $240 billion in it, an inflow of $180 million is close to zero,” said Jeff Tjornehoj, senior research analyst for Lipper. “Being on the wrong side of the Treasury bond market rally injured performance and reputation. When someone so visible makes a mistake it has large consequences.”"

  14. Posted by Guest | October 14, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    40% + 7 * 10% is only 90%.

    -AIG Percentages Quant

  15. Posted by What about his legitimate years? | October 14, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Poor El Erian, he’ll have to give up his budding career as a full time FT writer and opiner on ‘greater things.’ Learn from Soros boys, first he made his billions, then he became a public philosopher, not the other way around.

  16. Posted by guest | October 14, 2011 at 11:45 PM

    which came first
    ranch or cool ranch

  17. Posted by Guest | October 15, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    Math not your strong point huh?

  18. Posted by BGross fan club | October 17, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    But I talked my book with no effect.

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