Books

Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Straight to Hell

by John LeFevre

From the man behind the infamous @GSElevator Twitter account, true stories from the wild world of international finance.

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 336
  • Publication Date May 10, 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2521-7
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $16.00
  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Publication Date July 14, 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-9208-0
  • US List Price $16.00

About The Book

A New York Times Bestseller
One of Entertainment Weekly‘s “10 Must-Reads of Summer”

“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

Over the past three years, the notorious @GSElevator Twitter feed has offered a hilarious, shamelessly voyeuristic look into the real world of international finance. Hundreds of thousands followed the account, Goldman Sachs launched an internal investigation, and when the true identity of the man behind it all was revealed, it created a national media sensation—but that’s only part of the story.

Where @GSElevator captured the essence of the banking elite with curated jokes and submissions overheard by readers, Straight to Hell adds John LeFevre’s own story—an unapologetic and darkly funny account of a career as a globe-conquering investment banker spanning New York, London, and Hong Kong. Straight to Hell pulls back the curtain on a world that is both hated and envied, taking readers from the trading floors and roadshows to private planes and after-hours overindulgence. Full of shocking lawlessness, boyish antics, and win-at-all-costs schemes, this is the definitive take on the deviant, dysfunctional, and absolutely excessive world of finance.

From the @GSElevator Twitter feed:

“A guy came up to me at the gym and asked me what event I was training so hard for. Life, motherfucker.”
“If you can be good at one thing, be good at lying. . . . Because if you’re good at lying, you’re good at everything.”
“Just be yourself . . . is good advice to probably 5% of people.”
“I start every cell conversation with ‘my phone’s about to die’ so people don’t waste my time.”
“China is our landlord and we know he’s beating his wife but we’re two months behind on rent so we let it slide.”
“Starbucks needs a separate line for people who have their shit together.”

Praise

“Darkly funny.” —New York Times

“Always amusing.” —USA Today

“Popular.” —Wall Street Journal

“We can’t get enough.” —Politico

“LeFevre . . . sharply observes the lives of globe-trotting, overindulging, investment bankers.” —Entertainment Weekly

“LeFevre’s workplace anecdotes include tales of nastiness, sabotage, favoritism, sexism, racism, expense-account padding, and legally questionable collusion.” —Gary Sernovitz, New Yorker

“Shots are drunk, nether parts are exposed and rubbed against food, bread rolls are hurled, drugs are inhaled and prostitutes paid. It’s Bertie Wooster’s Drones Club via the darker corners of Edward St. Aubyn and Bret Easton Ellis.” —Philip Delves Broughton, Wall Street Journal

“Don’t mistake this book for something it doesn’t strive to be. The core themes of Straight to Hell survive attacks on its claims to credibility, and the book is not about boasting so much as entertainment. So should you read it? Maybe. It depends on your appetite for debauchery . . . Straight to Hell . . . offers a window into a deviant culture, and suggests the mechanisms by which it perpetuates itself, even in today’s climate.” —Jack Martinez, Newsweek

“Informative and . . . highly entertaining . . . After all the wheeling and dealing, the drinking and snorting, the cheating and fucking, there is only John LeFevre, gleefully riding to hell and taking as many other sinners down with him as he can . . . LeFevre’s contributed a classic to the genre. Anyone interested in global finance, credit markets or cocaine-fueled debauchery should give it a read.” —Joshua M Brown, Reformed Broker

“The Wall Street tell-all tome has been done before, but never quite like this. Straight to Hell is career suicide as literature; an interlude at a Filipino house of ill repute, all on its own, would be enough to render the author unemployable by any bank . . . If there were such a thing as witness protection for former bankers, John LeFevre would be eminently eligible.” —Barron’s

“Lefevre is straight owning it, and with the possibility of being uncovered no longer a thought, he has zero fucks to give and lets it all out. His best stories . . . and raw insight on the fucked up world of finance, compiled in one goddamn masterpiece.” —Total Frat Move

“Beyond the shock factor, it’s the humour in the book that stands out. . . . [LeFevre] flinches from nothing: the Herculean inappropriateness of trading-floor antics, the hookers, the cocaine. . . . This book is going to annoy and offend a lot of people, with good reason. It is a vicious, vacuous, caustic world he illuminates. But it would be a shameful waste if we didn’t have LeFevre to find the humour in it all.” —Chris Wright, Euromoney

“There’s no question that [LeFevre] knows his way around the business, and it’s a dirty one. There’s collusion, competition, nepotism, and a whole lot of reprehensible stuff going on in the business side, and it’s fascinating. . . . A great read.” —Linette Lopez, Business Insider

“Shocking.” —Times (UK)

“If you thought the Wall Street culture portrayed in his tweets was bad, the one in LeFevre’s new book Straight to Hell is worse.” —Emily Jane Fox, CNN Money

“LeFevre . . . has a clear talent for storytelling and writing.” —Graham Bippart, Global Capital

“In some memoirs, the author tries to pull back the curtain to provide a glimpse into a particular time and place, but LeFevre attempts to rip the drapes right off. He gives a naked look at how business in the world of finance is conducted. LeFevre . . . doesn’t shy away from witnessing and partaking in some of the seedier antics . . . You may not like LeFevre’s tact, but he knows what he’s talking about.” —Turney Duff, CNBC

“Reads like a frat boy’s fever dream of the highflying life: morning drinking, late-night drinking, and drinking all the hours in between; pranks, bar fights, cheating, travel, and prostitutes. . . . Equal parts fun and train wreck, this is a tale engineered to astonish.” —Publishers Weekly

“Stories . . . that entertainingly and unapologetically flesh out the excesses of the banking industry.” —Library Journal

“Full of shocking lawlessness, boyish antics, and win-at-all-costs schemes, this is the definitive take on the excessive world of finance.” —IndieBound

“A cocaine-buzzed chronicle of epic debauchery, made possible by the misuse of other people’s money . . . Offer[s] an unvarnished insight into a sick culture, and for that [LeFevre] deserves some kudos.” —Stuff.co.nz

“Shocking and sordid—and so much fun.” —Sherryl Connely, New York Daily News

“LeFevre’s stories are eye-opening. Also I’m pretty sure he confesses to several felonies, and there’s a price-fixing conference in a Hong Kong hotel room that I hope he ran by his lawyer. But you don’t want to read about bond deals. You want drugs and hookers. LeFevre delivers them with overwhelming force . . . Teenage boys at Choate will want to be investment bankers after reading Straight to Hell.” —Matt Levine, Bloomberg Businessweek

“The creator of the scummy, hilarious Twitter account @GSElevator describes his banker past.” —Entertainment Weekly (10 Must-Reads of Summer)

“Lefevre built an impressive reputation at Citigroup, earning the respect of his colleagues and peers for his ballsy pricing calls and smooth salesmanship.” —Reuters

“Bad Behavior 101 . . . No, it’s not a day at Hunter S. Thompson’s ranch but . . . a day at an ordinary big ticket investment bank. . . . You’d be forgiven for keeping your money under the mattress henceforth.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Hilarious.” —Business Insider

Awards

A New York Times Bestseller
A Time magazine Ultimate Summer Reads Pick
An Amazon Best Book of the Month (Business and Leadership)and (Humor and Entertainment)
A Publishers Weekly Notable Debut and Bestseller (#18)

Excerpt

From “Princelings and Dumplings”

Princelings, or as we affectionately call them, Dumplings, are the children of regional tycoons, captains of industry, and Chinese party officials. We all understand and expect that Chelsea Clinton can walk into a job at McKinsey or that Carl Icahn can call Goldman Sachs (which he did) and let them know that his son will be starting tomorrow. However, in Asia, it has increasingly become the rule. All banks hire a disproportionate number of Princelings, and not just the ones who graduated from Stanford or Princeton, with the implicit expectation that it comes with benefits through their influential families.

In some cases, these kids didn’t even want to be there; all their families wanted was to be able to say that their kid worked “as an investment banker” for a prestigious firm for a few years before joining the family business or going to business school. It didn’t matter what the job was. In one instance, the structured credit trading desk hired the son of a billionaire Hong Kong property tycoon as the desk assistant.

The kid was remarkably down to earth, but it was hilarious watching people tiptoe around him ever so politely, prefacing mundane requests with, “Hey, if it’s not too much trouble, can you chase the back office on this trade confirmation?” as opposed to the typical “Hey fuckstick. Why the fuck isn’t our P&L reconciling.”

At the end of the day, we’d all get in the same long taxi line to go home, and these kids would discreetly slink away to the chauffeured cars waiting for them.