Former Wall Street party boy tells his cautionary rags-to-riches-to-rags story.
Finally reaching the proverbial palace of wisdom after years of greed and high-stakes drugs-and-money excess, former big-spending trading whiz and recovering addict Duff turns in a heavyweight confessional about the perils of a life spent chasing the almighty dollar. From sleepy Kennebunk, Maine, Duff moved to New York in 1994 after graduating with a journalism degree. He soon found work as a sales assistant for the formidable Wall Street giant Morgan Stanley. Little did he know he was embarking on a death-defying roller-coaster ride that would see him go from making $30,000 per year as an assistant to pulling in hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary (plus hundreds of thousands more in bonuses) in the late-1990s tech-boom. But by 2008, Duff’s fortune was dwindling along with the market. Before he knew it, he was stuck with a mortgage he couldn’t pay and was in rehab for cocaine abuse, before finally burning all of his Wall Street bridges and beginning his life again. In fact, he exited this slimy lifestyle just before the life consumed him. Duff lucidly depicts the hedonistic emptiness of the Wall Street culture, as well as the callous, cutthroat environment that makes most careers on the Street very brief. But even though the author’s brutal honesty about his increasingly chaotic personal life is commendable, it’s really more his vivid portrait of the everyday inner workings of life at a hedge fund that fascinates. Duff's down-to-earth conversational writing style demystifies the daily business of what a stock trader actually does and just how a hedge fund can pull so many billions of dollars seemingly out of thin air.
A fast-paced memoir of the easy-money hypercapitalist dream-turned-nightmare.