Jeff Gundlach Is Attacking the WSJ for a Story That Hasn’t Come Out Yet

  • CEO blasts unpublished ‘fake news’ about Los Angeles firm
  • Late night emails assail reporter as a ‘coward’ and ‘creep’

Jeffrey Gundlach

Photographer: Kholood Eid/Bloomberg

DoubleLine Capital is engaged in an unusual media relations campaign against the Wall Street Journal, attacking reporters on Twitter and in emails to rival news organizations for a story that has yet to be published.

“WSJ desperate to populate ‘anonymous source’ DBL hit piece,” Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Gundlach said in a Twitter post this week, part of a campaign that began Aug. 2. “Now calling new employees. Even called spouse of one last night. Sad but true.”

Four Journal reporters have been looking into DoubleLine, according to a Twitter post Aug. 9 from Gundlach. The Los Angeles firm, which Gundlach started in 2009, oversees about $111 billion in mostly fixed-income assets.

“Time needed to write a real news piece? About an hour. To torture together a fake news piece? Well, we’re at three man-months & counting,” Gundlach, 57, who started on Twitter in May as @TruthGundlach, wrote Thursday in a post.

While it’s unclear what the Journal reporters are pursuing, Gundlach has offered hints in various posts.

‘Try NEVER’

“Hard to believe. Reporter claims DoubleLine in financial distress! Says I announced no bonuses this year as a result. WTF?! With record AUM?” Gundlach posted on Aug. 5. In a separate post that day, Gundlach disputed that he’s “‘berating’ employees constantly. Constantly?! Try NEVER. Life is good at DoubleLine.”

Late Wednesday, DoubleLine analyst Loren Fleckenstein forwarded emails with a Journal reporter to Bloomberg, the Financial Times, New York Times and other news outlets. In the message exchange, Fleckenstein -- citing a reporter’s after-hours call to an employee’s spouse -- called the journalist a “coward,” then later said that “‘creep’ fits better.”

A spokeswoman for DoubleLine, Jami Schlicher, said Gundlach “who has always stoutly defended” the firm, is seeking to “share the facts about DoubleLine and get ahead of what we expect to be a misleading story.”

Journal spokeswoman Colleen Schwartz declined to comment.

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