Bill Gross’ Brainteaser Proves His Mind Has Only One Track

Here's an easy one for ya!
Photo: Bob Riha Jr/Getty Images

Photo: Bob Riha Jr/Getty Images

Some people don’t think Bill Gross is a particularly good bond analyst or investor, but he’s even worse at coming up with parlor games. With a bit more free time on his hands lately, he’s apparently delved into the blogosphere, wherein he came upon this hot take:

The blog suggested inventing some new philosophical brainteasers to keep the conversation alive.

Bill answer’s to some “brainteasers” he offered up as examples might be interesting to some: To wit, he’d rather be interested than interesting, just as long as the person holding his attention is also looking him in the eye, and that his libido isn’t what it used to be.

4) If you were stranded on an island with a totally repugnant looking and abusive human being, would you entertain romance with him (her)?

Personal Comment: Maybe at 22, not 72!

Now, however, we’ve come to the point at which Bill—having conquered poetry—has to come up with a brainteaser of his own. This is it:

INVESTMENT BRAINTEASER: Can the Trump Agenda recreate 3% growth?

Now, this isn’t your typical sort of brainteaser, offering some kind of a solvable puzzle. This may be a function of the fact that Bill Gross doesn’t really know what a brainteaser is, if his examples, and the conclusion he draws from them (“there is no right or wrong answer”), are anything to go by. But let’s bite: Can the Trump agenda recreate 3% growth? On the one hand, no, and on the other, also no. In fact, this really is the worst brainteaser of all time, because it has only one answer.

In a detailed report by the IMF, their economists argue that the current trend is an offspring of the financial crisis….

The same IMF study suggests that unless there is an unforeseen technological breakthrough, productivity growth is unlikely to return to the higher rates of the 1990's for advanced economics or the early 2000's for emerging economics. In other words, their warning speaks to a global productivity slowdown, not just a U.S. based phenomena. They warn that increasing tariffs and developing restrictions on immigration will only exacerbate the slowdown. Global growth, and of course U.S. growth, will be lower than average, they forecast….

Equity markets are priced for too much hope, high yield bond markets for too much growth, and all asset prices elevated to artificial levels that only a model driven, historically biased investor would believe could lead to returns resembling the past six years, or the decades predating Lehman. High rates of growth, and the productivity that drives it, are likely distant memories from a bygone era.

Brainteasers [Janus]