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Best Finance Tweets of the Year: 2014

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The year 2014 on Twitter moved at more than 9,000 tweets per second, or 58 million a day. That sheer volume of history crammed, for better or for worse, into text message-sized bits might as well span a decade.

Perhaps it is in that spirit that Bill Gross, chief investment officer of PIMCO at the time, pledged to press on until the age of 110.

“PIMCO’s fully engaged,” Gross said in a Jan. 21 tweet after news broke that CEO Mohamed El-Erian was resigning. “Batteries 110% charged. I’m ready to go for another 40 years!”

PIMCO has since deleted the tweet.

As the months wore on, leading to Gross’ dramatic exit from PIMCO to start an unconstrained bond fund at Janus, those 40 years began to take a different turn than he probably imagined.

Meanwhile, plenty of other events, big and small, lit up the Twittersphere in 2014. Here is a look back at some of the highlights.

Early in the year, Burt White, chief investment officer and managing director of research at LPL, shared one of his favorite economic indicators.

Federal Reserve watchers had plenty to talk about in 2014 as the central bank tapered and finally ended its quantitative easing (QE) bond purchases. On Valentine’s Day, Fed watchers penned some love notes, poems and cheesy pickup lines. Even the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago got in on the fun. (Shameless plug: this writer did, too.)

In February, Russia invaded Ukraine after it ousted pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych, annexing Crimea and throwing the region into a turmoil that has extended to Russia itself in the form of sanctions and low oil prices.

— Ivan the K™ (@IvanTheK) March 14, 2014

Meanwhile, the charts and pithy one-liners kept flowing.

Bloomberg’s Clive Crook declared 2014 the year of Thomas Piketty. As it became increasingly clear to millions of Americans that high earners on the whole had recovered splendidly from the Great Recession as they themselves felt left behind, Piketty tapped into that vein in a most academic fashion, calling for higher taxes on the rich. His book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” drew admiration from some quarters and critiques of his data from others. 

Another book, Michael Lewis’ “Flash Boys,” sparked debate over high-speed trading — and ultimately promises of greater regulatory scrutiny.

Back to Gross, who baffled his audience at the Morningstar Investment Conference in June by taking the stage in sunglasses and comparing himself to Justin Bieber.

The Thought-Provoking Tweet of the Year Award goes to Bloomberg View columnist Noah Smith. Click the date on the tweet to see the discussion leading to his answer.

And finally, Scotland held a referendum in September over whether to break away from the United Kingdom. After early polls made a divorce seem possible, the measure was ultimately defeated, and First Minister Alex Salmond, the leader of the independence movement, stepped down.

There were volumes of tweets and artistic renderings on Scottish independence (storm troopers were involved), but Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer, as he often does, had the last word:

— Check out 15 Best Finance Tweets of the Year: 2013 on ThinkAdvisor.


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