Morningstar Still Has 99.579% Confidence In Pimco

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As you may have heard, Pimco co-founder Bill Gross announced last Friday that he was leaving the firm he started in 1971 for Janus Capital Group, before parent group Allianz could fire him. Since then, analysts, commentators, investors, and feral cats hoping to take Bob Gross's place have weighed in on who will ultimately emerge stronger from this breakup. The people who pulled $10 billion from Pimco immediately after hearing that Gross was out clearly believe that that place is nothing without him. Pimco management has taken the other side of the argument. Ron Insana at CNBC just wants everyone to know that "Bill Gross is NOT crazy." And what does the ratings branch of Morningstar think? Apparently that Pimco is still a world class athlete of a fund but that it might have to stand on the short box.

Morningstar downgraded its analyst rating on the Pimco Total Return Fund to "bronze" from "gold", citing uncertainty about outflows and the reshuffling of management responsibilities after the exit of co-founder Bill Gross..."The fund's Bronze Morningstar Analyst Rating reflects Morningstar's high level of confidence in PIMCO's resources and overall abilities but also the uncertainty as to exactly how all of these parts will mesh in the wake of Gross' departure," Morningstar analyst Eric Jacobson wrote in a report on Monday.

Presumably there's a more detailed, nuanced explanation for the downgrade but as it was slightly unnecessary to take the time to compose an email announcing the change? Because they still have "high level" confidence in Total Return, with just a splash of potential questions on the side? If bronze is "high level of confidence but..." and then you have a whole other level with silver, what is a gold rating? Highest level of confidence times infinity, here are the keys to our house please take off your pants and make yourself comfortable on the couch, no protective layers necessary?

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