Bess Levin

Posts by Bess Levin

It turns out that public profanity among top executives is sensitive to economic conditions, according to a Bloomberg News review of thousands of CEO calls with investors and analysts from 2004 to last month. It spiked in the aftermath of the recession in 2009 and has been decreasing as the recovery gathers steam over the last couple of years…A kind of periodic table of salty words — the F-bomb, the blasphemous GD, the scatalogical S and derogatory term AH — shows that they were used 254 times by top executives in calls during that decade. They appeared 17, 34, 197 and 6 times, respectively. To be sure, a majority of CEOs don’t curse in public. In fact, three account for quite a bit of the graphic language. They are kind of a Cursing Hall of F. Hagedorn, along with Ryanair Holdings Plc Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary and Emerson Electric Co. CEO David Farr are the only top executives to use the F-bomb more than once. Hagedorn used that word three times along with the other expletives for a total of 20 swear words. O’Leary followed with five F-bombs among 17 instances, and Farr with two Fs among 10 total that were transcribed. [Bloomberg]

Gone are the days of working until 2AM on an assignment. Staying only until midnight will be the new and exciting way of doing things. Read more »

Tom Laresca has a right mind to use the word “jokers” re the agency. Read more »

  • 15 Jul 2014 at 1:15 PM

Bill Gross Will Show You. He’ll Show All Of You!

Clients continue to leave Pimco and, in particular, Mr. Gross’s fund. His Total Return fund, the world’s largest bond fund, saw $4.5 billion of net investor outflows in June—its 14th consecutive month of defections—despite outpacing two-thirds of it rivals in the second quarter, according to fund-research firm Morningstar Inc. Over that period, investors pulled $64 billion from the now-$225 billion fund, an amount that dwarfs the total size of most mutual funds. The withdrawals came as investors, industrywide, added money to bond funds. Pimco has suffered net outflows across all its mutual funds for the past 13 months. [...] “My attitude is, ‘We’ll show ya,’ ” Mr. Gross said during the interview at Pimco’s headquarters, while wearing an unknotted blue tie he says was a present from Mr. El-Erian. “I’m not leaving until we show everybody that this new structure is better than the old structure.” “Don’t count me out,” he added. [WSJ, earlier]

For the first 43 years of his career, Pimco founder Bill Gross thought it was acceptable to issue demerits to people who looked him in the eye or spoke to him. So in February, when he was more or less forced to figure out how, at the age of 70, to act like a pleasant person, or face even more high level departures by people who suffer from debilitating conditions that cause them to make eye contact, it was obvious he had a rough road ahead of him.

Not wanting to read more articles about how he made someone write a $10,000 check for sitting, or slashed another’s bonus for failing to include a ‘p.37′ on a powerpoint presentation, Gross worked hard at the task at hand, and meaningful progress was made. Most notably, investment committee meetings “now take place in a room with a round table, rather than a rectangular one as in the past,” which according to Gross, has made people more comfortable and willing to speak (period, and also to express a difference of opinion with the boss).

But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and if you thought there wouldn’t be setbacks on the road from being a guy who “humiliate[s] people for stumbles” and instills such fear in them that they “recall nights [they were] so scared of being fired for mistakes [they] could not sleep” to a guy people want to be around, you thought wrong. Read more »

A year ago this August, we noted that a brow-beaten Falcone, on a time out from the securities industry and putting out fires daily with regard to his passion project, LightSquared, was just going to start suing everyone. Which he kind of has! In the last 11 months alone, the hedge fund manager has filed lawsuits against: Read more »

Such as: Read more »

“Bon appétit,” says Pandit, as he slices into a beetroot and continues to extol the virtues of something he calls the “SMAC stack”. I tell him this sounds awful but, he assures me, “it’s the vernacular for the ease for which you can get into business today,” and it stands for “Social media, Mobility, Applications and Cloud. “Data is like . . . You’re too young, but there was a movie with the [line about] plastics.” When I assure him I’m familiar with The Graduate, he says: “Data is this generation’s plastics. I don’t see business models being truly successful until you get it.” [FT]