Stephen Walsh, chief investment officer at Western Asset Management Co., the Pasadena, California-based bond unit of Legg Mason Inc., comments on the impact of the U.S. credit rating downgrade on the firm’s money- market and bond funds.
Western Asset Management Co.’s main fund is rebounding after trailing rivals in 2007 and 2008, beating similar strategies from BlackRock Inc. and Pacific Investment Management Co. for the third straight year. The bond manager’s next challenge is to reverse withdrawals.
Bill Gross, manager of the world’s biggest bond mutual fund, said Standard & Poor’s showed “spine” by cutting the U.S. debt rating, contradicting Warren Buffett and Legg Mason Inc.’s Bill Miller, who said the rating company erred.
BlackRock Inc., Franklin Templeton Investments, Loomis Sayles & Co., Pacific Investment Management Co. and Western Asset Management said the U.S. faces losing its top-level debt rating as officials struggle to raise the $14.3 trillion borrowing limit and reduce spending.