Bill Gross, the billionaire founder of PIMCO, the world's largest bond investor, began his latest correspondence to investors with an extended discussion of toilets. (Hat tip to Dealbreaker and Daily Intel):
I write this month to condemn the inventor of the electronic "seeing eye" toilet. Yes, that's right, I'm talking toilets here, doo-doo-stuff, some of which I hopefully won't step in myself over the next few paragraphs. I know there must be more substantive and less objectionable
topics to bring before you, but I have a sense that many of you join me in spirit if not common experience and so I devote this month's Outlook to another trivial snippet emphasizing our joint humanity and sense of loss due to the recent disappearance of the hand flusher.
I don't know where it is located exactly, but there's an electronic eye in the plumbing of public toilets these days that can sense when you get up and down (or is it down and up) and are finally finished with your "business," if you get my drift. My doctor says a proctology exam is a necessary evil but cameras in toilets? Never having seen myself from this particular angle, it is particularly embarrassing to turn over the assignment to a camera and in effect say, "Snap away - see anything that doesn't look right?" which, of course, I usually do with much haste and a sense that I'd better get on with it before I draw a crowd.
It's after the dirty deed is complete, however, that the real intrique begins. Does it flush or doesn't it? Only the computer chip knows for sure....Finally I suppose you head for the door, all the while listening for the flush, the flush, that beautiful sound of the flush. I could have done it myself, you know, with a lot less hassle. Which is why I support a retreat to the old days, (not the backyard outhouse), but the good old-fashioned hand flusher. One push, and presto - you're good to go!
Gross's rather odd discussion of his toilet habits is followed by his theses -- which may or may not be related to the above. "Our new normal" economic reality, Gross writes, is "dependent on deleveraging, reregulation and deglobalization." But the future well-being of the world economy, he argues, is dependent on continued population growth. (Global population rates have been steadily trending downward since 1970, he notes.)
We'll leave the reader to decipher the Grossian secret of how that relates to toilets with automatic flushing mechanisms. Check out his latest investment outlook here.