Mohamed El-Erian: The Guy Who Isn’t David Swensen

The NY Times has completed an usual Ivy League two-fer, with recent profiles of Yale endowment manager David Swensen and, today, new Harvard endowment guy Mohamed El-Erian. The latter is ex- of Pimco, of course, where he was the emerging markets bond supremo, turning in a standout record making money for himself and BillG’s gang over in Newport Beach.

Does the Times story move the ball at all? Not much. We do learn, however, that El-Erian is a more swashbuckling market-timer than Yale’s Swensen, with the latter smartly swearing such stuff off. But El-Erian bet early this year that market’s were over-priced and lightened equity exposure by 5% or so, a move that has made him money, the Times tells us.

Fair enough, and I’m sure El-Erian has the instincts of a market mongoose, but stock timing is a doombound game at the best of times, and ever-bearish bond guys are generally only good at it in one direction, down.

[via NYT]


  1. Fiske Silk says:

    And what is it with the Pimco guys and the moustaches? There’s nothing wrong with a good stache, but that group is ridiculously moustachioed.
    Speking of which, I don’t find that the original moustacioed one, Bill G., is particularly a shill for bonds despite them obviosly being his thing. His view of the market seems downright even handed compared to the real permabears, the equity-short-sellers / goldbugs combos.

  2. Good question about the Pimco ‘stache squad. Wish I knew.
    Fair comment too about the absence of permabears at Pimco. Mind you, saying he is less downbeat than a goldbug or a short-seller isn’t saying much.

  3. OK, I’m not in the cool club here. I have no idea what Pimco is, and if there’s a Bill G in the world who’s not Bill Gates, how can he be “BillG”. Bill Gross – probably not him either?
    BTW, SteveJ would normally mean Jobs in my valley centric mind.
    Please include at least one full spelling somewhere when you shorthand fund managers code names.

  4. Oh, my bad. Late night postings tend to turn into abbreviation-fests here at IG HQ.
    BillG: Bill Gross, the head head of Newport Beach -based PIMCO
    PIMCO: The world’s largest bond managers, based in Newport Beach
    SteveJ: That Jurvetson guy at DFJ who once was involved in some company called Hotmale [ed., be nice] or something.