My take: Atkins is right and Gross is wrong. I know Howard. He’s a straight shooter, and he has direct, detailed knowledge of the level of institutional interest of the deal. All Gross appears to be doing, by contrast, is retailing rumors that he hopes are true.
From what I can tell, Gross’s comments last Thursday are part of his bizarre new campaign to badmouth the state of the fixed income markets in order to pump up Pimco’s GSE debt holdings. The logic is simple: perceived shaky picture of fixed income market = rising odds of federal bailout of GSEs = good for GSE bondholders. It’s a free country, and Gross can say whatever he’d like. But going on CNBC to repeat bogus rumors in order to goose your portfolio is awfully low-class for someone of Gross’s stature in the investment world.
Tom Brown is head of Bankstocks.com