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.
My fool-proof indicator of consumer strength: how far from #CheesecakeFactory I have to park at the mall. Today was past Sears! Retail is ok
— Burt White (@_BurtWhite) January 26, 2014
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.)
Shall I compare thee to the dual mandate? Thou art as lovely, with a perfect discount rate #FedValentines
— ChicagoFed (@ChicagoFed) February 14, 2014
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.
— Jim Rickards (@JamesGRickards) March 3, 2014
Buy on the Vote. Sell on the Invasion.
— Ivan the K™ (@IvanTheK) March 14, 2014
Meanwhile, the charts and pithy one-liners kept flowing.
One of my favorite charts of all-time — How Not To Invest: pic.twitter.com/EyPSVjDfDJ
— stefan cheplick (@scheplick) April 23, 2014
Saying you’re having children for the tax breaks is like saying you want a mortgage for the interest deduction. http://t.co/IQYed6u4Fj
— Jason Hull (@hull_j) April 30, 2014
QotD: “Costly takeovers of our shorts appears to be a cyclical phenomenon” http://t.co/oMc6gO8AHW
— Paul Kedrosky (@pkedrosky) July 25, 2014
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.
— Businessweek (@BW) May 29, 2014
Another book, Michael Lewis’ “Flash Boys,” sparked debate over high-speed trading — and ultimately promises of greater regulatory scrutiny.
Text from sister: “Mom asked me if you were involved in that high-speed trading ring.”
— Ivan the K™ (@IvanTheK) April 4, 2014
— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) March 31, 2014
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.
— MichaelKitces (@MichaelKitces) June 19, 2014
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.
Suppose the market price of gold is $1000/oz. I own 99.99% of the gold in the world (4e6 oz.), and nothing else. What is my total wealth?
— Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) August 27, 2014
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:
Salmond swims upstream, exhausted, calls it quits.
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) September 19, 2014
— Check out 15 Best Finance Tweets of the Year: 2013 on ThinkAdvisor.