In January of 1994, Nicholas Maier hopped on a train that took him from Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he lived with his parents, to New York's Penn Station.With his wallet stuck in his sock, he headed down to the heart of the Wall Street district for a meeting with Jim Cramer that would change his life forever. For the next five years, Maier would work like a slave inside Jim Cramer's hedge fund, a limited partnership that included only the wealthiest investors, where rules were scarce and where, in his glory days, Jim Cramer managed almost a half a billion dollars, raking in phenomenal returns.
Entranced by the game, Maier quickly rose from the office assistant fetching sandwiches from the deli downstairs to a trader playing with a fifty-million-dollar portfolio. But under the pressure of Jim's constant war, Maier's adrenaline rush wore off, and the dark side of Wall Street was revealed: Maier had become exhausted and money driven -- at his worst moments swapping tranquilizers with his coworkers and passing out on a New York subway.
This is a true insider's story -- an honest, raw, page-turning account that takes us on a journey through the volatile, anything-goes world of hedge funds. From Cramer & Company to the brokerage houses and analysts to the reporters who cover the market action, we are shown a Wall Street where almost everyone is dirty -- a world where even the SEC fails to maintain order.
At the heart of this narrative is an incredible character study of Jim Cramer, one of Wall Street's brightest stars. Employing any means possible to make money, Cramer engaged in brilliant but questionable strategies that danced on the edge of ethics and legality. A typical day inside the fund would begin with Cramer's declaration, "I love the smell of money in the morning," followed by a boom-box serenade of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise." At the first sign of trouble, however, Cramer would turn paranoid and vicious, smashing phones and computer monitors and screaming insults that would leave even the toughest employees in tears.
In the tradition of Liar's Poker, this fascinating account of greed and excess on Wall Street will inevitably force the business world to reassess itself through the story of one young man who walked away from it all.