Orange County Business Journal

Gross Gives Views on Economy, Europe, White House

Jerry Sullivan Friday, November 18, 2011

Pacific Investment Management Co. cofounder and co-Chief Investment Officer Bill Gross recently sounded off on the U.S. economy, Europe’s financial crises and presidential politics.

Gross joined Larry Fink, chairman and chief executive of New York-based BlackRock Inc., in an interview on Bloomberg Television.

The talk was filmed during an alumni event hosted by the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Gross and Fink are both graduates of the school.

The interview will be shown Monday on Bloomberg Television.

Here are some advance excerpts of comments by Gross.

On the U.S. economy:

“These are structural problems that can’t really be addressed by Washington or policymakers in terms of cheaper money or in terms of fiscal spending.”

On Europe’s crisis:

“…It's not a determinable outcome at the moment but it’s certainly in flux and very dangerous.”

On how Europe ranks among the risks to the American economy:

“Right at the top.”

On the Obama Administration:

“The current leadership I think can be faulted in a number of areas, but primarily by emphasizing consumption in terms of policy fixes as opposed to investment...what the Obama administration’s policies have really been oriented towards have always been towards providing benefits continuing consumption. What this country needs really is a policy which stresses investments.”

On who he would vote for today if the candidates were the same as the 2008 presidential election:

“I am disenchanted. I’m a registered Republican. I voted for Obama. Was there change that I could believe in? I hoped there was, but there isn’t. The fact is, is that Washington is dominated by K Street and it’s dominated by finance and by…contributions from large corporations which don’t have the interests of Main Street and have the interests of Wall Street. So who would I vote for? I’d vote for neither.”