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About Mary Childs
Mary Childs is a co-host for Planet Money, NPR's economics podcast. She has written for Barron's magazine, the Financial Times, and Bloomberg News, covering topics from the bond market and credit-default swaps to capitalism and equality. She was also a Watson Fellow, spending a year traveling the world painting portraits. She lives in Richmond, Virginia.
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From the host of NPR’s Planet Money, the deeply-investigated story of how one visionary, dogged investor changed American finance forever.
Before Bill Gross was known among investors as the Bond King, he was a gambler. In 1966, a fresh college grad, he went to Vegas armed with his net worth ($200) and a knack for counting cards. $10,000 and countless casino bans later, he was hooked: so he enrolled in business school.
The Bond King is the story of how that whiz kid made American finance his casino. Over the course of decades, Bill Gross turned the sleepy bond market into a destabilized game of high risk, high reward; founded Pimco, one of today’s most powerful, secretive, and cutthroat investment firms; helped to reshape our financial system in the aftermath of the Great Recession—to his own advantage; and gained legions of admirers, and enemies, along the way. Like every American antihero, his ambition would also be his undoing.
To understand the winners and losers of today’s money game, journalist Mary Childs argues, is to understand the bond market—and to understand the bond market is to understand the Bond King.