RECESSIONS, crackups, bailouts — these are profitable times for Mohamed A. El-Erian.
Mr. El-Erian is the crown prince of the multitrillion-dollar global bond market, the figurative heir of its long-reigning king, William H. Gross of the mighty Pacific Investment Management Company, known as Pimco.
From the company’s trading floor here in Newport Beach, some 2,500 miles from Wall Street, this odd couple, Pimco’s co-chief investment officers, preside over the world’s biggest bond funds — funds where many investors turn in uncertain times.
Mr. Gross is the maestro behind the biggest of all, the $263 billion Pimco Total Return fund. But as the financial world has come unhinged — first in 2008, with the subprime fiascoes in the United States, and now in Europe, where the debt crisis flared anew last week — Mr. El-Erian has come into his own, stepping out of the long shadow of Mr. Gross, one of Pimco’s founders and his former boss.