Pimco founder Bill Gross bet big on government intervention and won. Now, while other bond-market players lie wounded on the sidelines, Pimco is essential to keeping the credit markets alive. "Our role now is to make money for Pimco, but it is also much greater," Gross says. "We are in the business of capitalism." Some say he's got the government in no position to negotiate. "Gross, a famously good gambler, knows that winning in this type of market means threatening not to buy when the government needs to sell," says venture capitalist Peter Cohan.

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