Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, and Billion-Dollar Deals

Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, and Billion-Dollar Deals

John LeFevre

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 0802125212

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

“Some chick asked me what I would do with 10 million bucks. I told her I’d wonder where the rest of my money went.”—@GSElevator

Darkly funny, remarkably revealing, and utterly unapologetic, Straight to Hell is John LeFevre’s own account of his adventures as a globe-conquering investment banker whose career spanned New York, London, and Hong Kong. Sitting above the “Chinese Wall” separating investment banking and sales and trading, in a senior position with a unique vantage point, LeFevre did billion-dollar deals with sovereign borrowers, prestigious multinational corporations, and every bank on Wall Street, not to mention Chinese tycoons and Indonesian thugs, and shot up the ranks to be one of the most prolific bond syndicate managers in Asia. He also got banned from the Four Seasons, where he was living at the time, totaled his brand-new Maserati, and indulged in riotous debauchery on and off the trading floor.

Hundreds of thousands follow LeFevre’s @GSElevator Twitter account; Goldman Sachs launched an internal investigation into his tweets, and when his true identity was revealed, it created a national media firestorm—but that was only part of the story. Straight to Hell delves deep inside an industry that is both envied and reviled, taking you from the training programs, trading floors, and roadshows to private planes, shady deals, and after-hours overindulgence. This is not a moralistic tale of redemption. Full of shocking rule-breaking, frat-boyish antics, and win-at-all-cost schemes, Straight to Hell brazenly pulls back the curtain on the deviant and absolutely excessive world of finance. Also included are some of the best lines from @GSElevator, created and curated by LeFevre.

Prepare yourself and buckle up, because this is one of the most entertaining and eye-opening books ever written about the world of finance.

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authenticity of my voice ruffled feathers and captivated people around the world and across the spectrum. I had no idea where the Twitter account would take me, but I did know that I had been collecting stories (the inane and insane) over the course of my career in banking. I joined the fixed-income desk of Salomon Brothers immediately out of college. *Starting in the wake of the dot-com bubble bursting and working through the financial crisis, across three continents, I enjoyed a colorful

credit traders, the largest team in Asia. They will be responsible for making a market in your bonds and supporting the deal.” I pause for translation, while directing their gaze down a long row of bodies staring at screens, pounding away on keyboards, amid the energetic buzz of dealerboards lighting up. We get a polite acknowledgment from the desk head and then slowly move on to the next row. I don’t even think the chairman gives a shit; he’s already spotted the credit derivatives desk

calling in and quitting out of shame on the spot. That night, I take him out and we get blackout wasted, and we’ve been good friends ever since. He’s come a long way since that memorable day. Now he’s leaving, heading over to a clean slate and a seven-figure guarantee, with three months’ gardening leave—a legally required paid vacation to prevent conflicts of interest or sensitive information from passing from one bank to another. The next three months breeze by for him in a drunken haze. I do

across the hallway and see a familiar doormat and Chinese porcelain umbrella stand. Not only am I in my building, I’m on my floor. I manage to make it into my apartment and bolt the door behind me before my neighbors make it out into the �corridor—assuming they even followed me at all. I retreat to the safety and comfort of my own bed and considerably nicer sheets. It takes quite a long time for the foreign chemicals in my body to overcome the adrenaline of my misadventure. But eventually, I

up to it.” He knows no one has the balls to carry out a stunt like that without the order from up top, but he can’t do anything to his boss; all he can do is take it out on the analysts. Everyone just stares at their screens in silence, trying not to crack up. “Do you fucktards understand what happened to me? My friend from grade school is getting married. A lot of these guys I haven’t seen in years. They aren’t bankers or Wall Street guys. They’re firefighters, cops, and blue-collar guys. You

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