Well, here is something we never we thought we'd see in print...
Even after one of the most storied careers in financial markets, Bill Gross has a few surprises left.
For one, he’s been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, the autism-spectrum disorder. Gross says he lived most of his life unaware of the condition and now believes it helps explain not only why he was such a successful investor for so long but also why he could, by his own admission, rub people the wrong way.
...because we didn't think this was news.
Bill Gross has discovered that he has Aspberger's? LeBron James should get to a doctor. He might be tall.
Gross learned he has Asperger’s only after reading Michael Lewis’s “The Big Short.” In one passage, Lewis recounts the unusual characteristics of one of the book’s heroes, Michael Burry, a doctor-turned-investor who also was diagnosed with the condition as an adult. Gross recognized that he shared many of the same qualities and had similarly obsessive habits. He went to a psychiatrist, who confirmed the condition.
That sound you hear is Mo El-Erian screaming "NO SHIT?" at the top of his lungs.
Did that visit to go like this?:
GROSS: Hello, doctor, I'm Bill Gross. I think I have Aspberger's Syndrome.
DOCTOR: What makes you think that, Mr. Gross?
GROSS: You should maybe just Google me.
DOCTOR: [types on laptop for literally 90 seconds, looks up] I'm glad you came in, Bill.
Between Bill's decision-making, his relationships both personal and professional and his epistolary skills, we feel like we've always assumed that Bill was firmly on The Spectrum. And we say that as someone with absolutely no understanding of psychology.
Bill Gross is an objectively brilliant guy who is as famous for his spectacularly poor social skills as he is for his investment career. At this point, the only thing more synonymous with Bill Gross' career than "bonds" is "messy drama." When you look at the symptoms of Aspberger's in adults [lack of social awareness, lack of interest in socializing/making friends, difficulty making and sustaining friendships, inability to infer the thoughts, feelings, or emotions of others, etc.] it feels like looking at a timeline of Bill's PIMCO career.
And in inimitable Bill Gross style, the man himself seems to have a wonderfully self-aware and spectacularly self-serving conflicted vision of what his diagnosis has meant for him:
“I’m an Asperger, and Aspergers can compartmentalize,” he said, revealing his diagnosis publicly for the first time. “They can operate in different universes without the other universes affecting them as much. Yeah, I had a nasty divorce, and I still had, you know, feelings about Pimco. But I think I did pretty well in compartmentalizing them. Not that I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night and start damning one side or the other. But when I came to work it was all business.”
This is the perfect distillation of Bill Gross, and we honestly wish him all the best on this new journey.