PIMCO chief: Yup, our equity trades on SecondMarket

March 31, 2011, 7:12 PM UTC

PIMCO boss Mohamed El-Erian was in Times Square this morning, for a wide-ranging interview with Reuters editor-at-large Christa Friedland. Lots of talk about Japan, Greek tragedies and the like.

Outside reporters were allowed in the door, but Reuters HQ is a couple hundred miles south of my current location. Too bad, because I wanted to ask El-Erian about a New York Observer report that PIMCO equity had begun quietly trading on SecondMarket, the private alternative investment platform known mostly as conduit for buying and selling shares in hot private companies like Facebook.

So I tweeted out my question, and Reuters blogger Felix Salmon took up my mantle during Q&A.

El-Erian acknowledged that such shares are indeed trading – he called it “shadow equity — but added that only PIMCO employees are allowed to buy and/or sell (he’s a buyer, natch).

SecondMarket previously declined to comment on the NYO report, but I think they may change their minds now that El-Erian has provided confirmation…