Gross donates old key­board

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS - By Sa­man­tha Ma­sunaga sa­man­­sunaga@la­

“Bond king” Bill Gross’ old Bloomberg ter­mi­nal key­board will get a new home at the Smith­so­nian.

Once the cen­ter­piece of his leg­endary bond man­ag­ing days, Bill Gross’ old Bloomberg ter­mi­nal key­board is get­ting a new home at the Smith­so­nian In­sti­tu­tion.

The co-founder of Pa­cific In­vest­ment Man­age­ment Co. also do­nated sev­eral other items from his trad­ing desk — a Mon­roe Trader bond cal­cu­la­tor, two Beanie Ba­bies (one red bull and one black bear) and a pair of fuzzy dice al­ways set to lucky num­ber 11.

“I think it’ll be pretty cool,” Gross said of his items’ in­clu­sion in the ex­hi­bi­tion at the Smith­so­nian’s Na­tional Mu­seum of Amer­i­can His­tory. “It’ll be like vis­it­ing your old home where you grew up.”

The items are part of the Amer­i­can En­ter­prise ex­hibit, open­ing July 1, which also boasts Eli Whit­ney’s cot­ton gin.

Gross’ key­board and other items are in a sec­tion called “Fi­nance in the Global Era,” said Peter Lieb­hold, cu­ra­tor of the ex­hi­bi­tion.

When con­sid­er­ing items for the ex­hibit, he said the staff de­cided that a Bloomberg ter­mi­nal was needed as the “icon of the mod­ern fi­nan­cial world.”

Gross’ sta­tus in the fi­nan­cial world made his key­board even more im­por­tant, Lieb­hold said. He added that the ad­di­tion of the dice and the Beanie Ba­bies helps to hu­man­ize Gross’ key­board be­yond its tech­no­log­i­cal value.

“I was re­ally in­ter­ested in the no­tion of Bill Gross as the in­di­vid­ual,” he said. “It re­ally makes that mo­ment where our vis­i­tors can re­ally iden­tify with it much more.”

Gross said he al­ways ar­ranged his dice and Beanie Ba­bies a cer­tain way at his desk and might be tempted to do so when he sees the ex­hi­bi­tion.

“I’ll want to ad­just the dice to 11 if they’re not to 11,” he said. “And make sure the bull and the bear are ap­pro­pri­ately placed so that if I’m bear­ish on the mar­ket, the bear is a lit­tle more for­ward than the bull.”

The key­board also has a sig­na­ture Gross touch. At the top is a piece of white sticker tape with his old pass­word on it.

“There were times when I hadn’t had too much sleep and I’d come in the morn­ing and I’d go, ‘What’s my pass­word?’ ” he said. “I’m sort of a trust­ing guy, and I won­dered why any­body would want to ac­cess my Bloomberg ter­mi­nal any­way be­cause it has the same in­for­ma­tion they can get on their own ter­mi­nal.”

Af­ter years of re­fus­ing to aban­don his 25-year-old key­board, the “bond king” said he now has a new one in his role as port­fo­lio manager at Janus Cap­i­tal Group.


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