Bess Levin

Posts by Bess Levin

Remember Tim Sykes? Starred in the inaugural, pre-crisis season of Wall Street Warriors, where his claim to fame was that he’d turned $12,415 in Bar Mitzvah money into “a pre-tax sum of $1.65 million”? Was named to the now defunct Trader Monthly‘s 30 Under 30 list, and subsequently disinvited to one of their party, a turn of events he did not take well? After he closed his fund– Cilantro Partners–, claiming the SEC had “fucked” him, Sykes continued to send out daily investment columns/penny stock advice/I will make you rich/what have you emails, but last night he made his return to the small screen with an appearance on Bravo’s Below Deck and thank god he did. Highlights from the episode include:

  • In addition to his 19 year-old lady friend, bringing a group of “stock trading students” on the trip with him, who all wear “Timothy Sykes” tee-shirts and tell the crew “he turned his Bar Mitzvah money into $3 million” and “he moved out of the trading world into the teaching world”
  • Refers to the crew as his “slaves”
  • Forces the crew to gather ’round while he gives them “stock lessons,” says things like “There are people out there who promise to get people rich…I back it the fuck up. I’m the fucking American Dream. That’s why I have this [takes off American flag he's been wearing as a scarf]…any questions?”
  • Takes out a stack of money and says to the captain, “Let’s talk tip. I’ve got a big wad of cash here. I planned to give you $22,000 but there were some things wrong. So out of the 22, we’re going to give you 17,” like he’s Dick from 3rd Rock From The Sun.

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  • 15 Oct 2014 at 1:22 PM

Square Footage Watch ’14: Bill Gross

Gross is reportedly losing office space faster than assets but the good news is that if he’s ever feeling cramped, he can take a quick walk over to his old digs and stretch his shit out, assuming his old Pimco ID still works, which is admittedly a big if. Read more »

Colin Fan, he of the “I have lost my patience” with you pricks video address, explains: Read more »

JP Morgan Chase’s third-quarter results were published more than three hours ahead of schedule because of a mistake by, the investor-communications company owned by Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. “The root cause was a human error internally at,” Ryan Wells, a Nasdaq spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. provides companies with Internet services including website maintenance for investor relations. JPMorgan’s earnings press release and supplement appeared online at about 3:30 a.m. in New York. The bank had set 7 a.m. for release of the market-sensitive data. [Bloomberg]

  • 13 Oct 2014 at 11:30 AM

Pay Hike Watch ’14: Jefferies

The junior mistmakers at the House ‘o Handler will not be left out of the fun. Read more »

Changing jobs can be very stressful. I’m not going to get into what I did before I won the coveted Dealbreaker Chef de Cuisine post, but let’s just say my julienning skills were more than a tad underutilized.

The first week on a new job is a brutal mishmash of emotions, whether you’re a line cook, a Chef de Cuisine, or yes, even a bond fund manager. (This is especially true when most of the money from you old gig doesn’t make the trip with you to your new one.) It takes a while to learn the rhythms of the new office, figure out whether your no-eye contact policy freaks people out, or whether insulting a colleague’s French accent will drive him into the Croque Monsieur business.

In terms of making new friends and finding his way in the new space, the fact that Bill Gross is working remotely from Malibu, and not at his new employer’s headquarters in Denver, puts him at a disadvantage. But it also offers him an opportunity. While I’m contractually barred from discussing my clients, let’s just hypothetically say Bill was one, and the two of us were sitting in his office in Newport Beach, right before hopping on the short flight to Colorado to meet some of his new colleagues, or he called me after landing, pleading for advice re: how to interact with people. The setting doesn’t matter, my advice to him would be the same: Give them a taste of Denver. Let them know you appreciate their home.

As a rookie, I’m not suggesting Bill whip up a few servings of Rocky Mountain oysters, the deep-fried testicles of bull calves that Coloradoans love so dearly. No, that could make for a bit of an awkward first impression.

When I tell Bill to “give them a taste of Denver,” I mean one thing: “Get yourself an apron and a chef’s hat and set up a Denver omelette station. Set it up IMMEDIATELY.” Read more »

Naturally, the details of this event lead his latest (and inaugural at Janus) Investment Outlook. Read more »

It’s a swell time to be an investment banker at the House of Morgan. Bond traders at JP Morgan? Better luck next time. Read more »