Dante Tim Sykes's Inferno, Chapter 2

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Here at Dealbreaker, we occasionally like to look into the darker underbelly of finance. See what happens behind closed doors. Under desks. On boardroom tables. In the eleventh floor bathroom of Goldman Sachs. These tours of duty are most informative when we have a guide. We've already contracted Philip Goldstein for the entire month of August, but today (and for the next several weeks or until we've sucked him dry of all he has to offer, vis-à-vis being a Hedge Fund Guru (or whichever comes first)), our Shepherd is Tim Sykes. We hope you enjoy the ride, and any complaints should be directed to tim at timothysykes dot com, though we really don't anticipate any.
(Chapter 1)
May 1st: I spent the day reviewing thousands of changes suggested by my book editor. Who knew repeatedly admitting that I am Cheap Jew might turn readers away? Oh well. Somebody from Wiley called and said they’d be interested in seeing my book. Cool—now I really had to finish editing quickly. This Cheap Jew put on his nicest suit to attend The International Tennis Hall of Fame’s cocktail party with tennis great, James Blake.
Years before my million dollar elbow injury cut short my budding tennis career, James and I used to play together. I wanted to see if he’d publicly admit that one time I got a game off him. A few cocktails and comedic speeches later, he did. Now everybody knew.

May 2nd-4th
: Had some great stock trades and for the first time


******************** **************BLOCKED BY SEC REGULATIONS*************************
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**************Holy God, this was getting annoying! How could DB readers respect me if they only could only read about me blabbing about everything except for the one thing that I’ve dedicated the past eight years of my life to? I tried calling my lawyer for advice—his secretary told me he was away for the week in Napa Valley. Perfect. Maybe I could disable this software so I could finally tell my story and comment directly on the incredibly ignorant internet postings regarding my trading.
I repeatedly tried calling the SEC hedge fund manager help hotline, but the line was busy for days on end. Apparently, many other fund managers were trying to figure ways around the industry required censorship software, too. Luckily, I had experience with busy telephone lines. Repeatedly failing but eventually succeeding at getting reservations at Babbo had taught me that persistence was the key.
May 5th and 6th: I use the weekend to devote myself to editing my book. Finally, halfway done— I sent over the first 80 pages to Wiley for review. Now everybody would finally be able to read about all my successes and mistakes. Forget the Wall St. tradition of never publicizing your mistakes— my gains had made me richer, but my mistakes had made me wiser. Sure, my fund might’ve never made it to the big time, but there were many more people who needed advice from somebody who’d turned a few thousand into a few million rather than somebody who’d turned a few million into tens of millions. It was easy to bet millions when you were already set for life. I wanted to inspire an entire generation to take up our true national sport, financial speculation.
May 7th-9th: The SEC hedge fund manager hotline was still busy; incredible! I knew the SEC was underfunded, but c’mon. I calmed myself down by trading***************** **************Oh, c’mon this is ridiculous! How risky could stock trading be? People go to Vegas all the time and lose everything! A few months later, they do it all again! All for a few free drinks! Calm yourself you Cheap Jew— it was a beautiful day outside, go running by the water. OK, I will.
My new friend at Wiley sent me an email saying they liked the first 80 pages enough to offer me an advance of $25,000. That was chump change—I’d have to think about it, I didn’t even have an agent yet!
May 10th: I didn’t try calling the SEC hotline, nothing could ruin my day-- I had a big date with a beautiful model and I was taking her to Perilla, a hot new West Village restaurant. As I was walking back from an incredible lunch at Tomoe sushi, somebody from CNBC called. Apparently, they liked my “How to Win” appearances enough to want me to come into their NJ studios next week and meet with producers to see what I could bring to the table for their show, Fast Money. Awesome—I loved those guys. Later, my date was incredible and Perilla was definitely the best new restaurant in the city. What a great fuckin’ day!

Timothy Sykes is a hedge fund manager, star of the reality show Wall Street Warriors, and author of the upcoming book, “An American Hedge Fund”

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