At the risk of being single-minded, I can't help be voice my pleasure with another month of Bill Gross's commentary. This month he entertained us with some self-deprecation regarding his name and his passion for naming his children with traditional middle class American names. Names that sound, ateast to Bill, as being more satisfying, more masculine for males, more normal suburbia for females. Atleast that's the way I interpreted his writing on the matter. I don't have a complaint about 'Bill', and growing up in suburban America, I can provide good and bad examples of the usage of all of those names he likes. There were 'Jennifer's in my school and on the silver screen that you would long for, and others you would run from. I will say, my father was a 'Nick', and it worked for him.
As always, the metaphor he provides us gets put to good use :
Is a clean dirty shirt a dirty shirt by another name?
While bemoaning the debt burden being incurred by our country, as he has done for almost every monthly article this year, he does point out that America may be the cleanest dirty shirt. He reminds us also that getting out of a debt crisis requires either defaulting (just refuse to pay back any loans), or printing money out of it. Defaulting as a solution has certainly worked for many of my peers on a consumer level. Walk away from a house, marry somebody with a house, become a personal trainer, teach pilates, etc.. I have long agreed with the printing solution, if every country were to do that in unison. After all, it's only currency and numbers. However, the consequence of that seems to be, the little countries that can't print get squashed, and the earth itself just gets raped more and more. Print more money, so young personal trainers can buy more and more condos and Ferrari's, and more Starbucks shops can dominate the landscape pouring 500 calorie coffee-less frozen drinks into our housewives. Well, enough of that. Printing money would solve the debt problem, but it won't stop the consumerism, obesity, the health-care balloon, etc..
I do find Bill extra-leery of the 7% return in this month's 'Outlook'. After all, his own Pimco High Income Fund (NYSE:PHK) pays 11%. Why all the belly-aching about hard-to-find returns. The subtitle reads 7% returns out of reach.
So, best I can tell; the US is the cleanest shirt, but it better not over-borrow, and it must reign in some wasteful government activities to stay there. Should I buy some PHK or PML?