Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, and Billion-Dollar Deals
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
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.
all, I can’t fathom moving to Asia; I’ve never even been there. More important, every single person I know in the Hong Kong office hates it; they complain of tyrannical bosses, a rigid hierarchy, and never-ending hundred-hour workweeks. It’s not uncommon for me to get frantic calls from one of my capital markets counterparts in Asia at all hours of the day and night, begging and pleading for help on some US$ or Eurobond pitch book they’re working on. There’s no way I’m moving to Asia. Some of
I will incorporate this knowledge into my overall sense of market conditions, investor appetite, and structural preference and come up with recommendations. For a complicated credit or an important pitch, I might sound out the deal to a few investors on a no-names basis, talking them through the credit profile and theoretical deal parameters in general terms for the purposes of getting feedback to help me refine my view. I might say something like, “I’m looking at a possible new high-yield issue
Mentality Ode to Liar’s Poker The Parental Visit The Handover I’ll Call You on Your Cell Networking Carpet or Cock The Roadshow The Wild Wild East The Lunch Break The Warren Buffett of Shanghai Bluetooth The Stakeout Princelings and Dumplings The First Day of School Because They Are Muppets The Minibar Conference Call Etiquette Letting the Bad Out A Long Day Making It Rain Epilogue Author’s Note “Goldman fucking Sachs. Ever heard of it?” It was the perfect inaugural tweet.
roadshow is in order. One bank gets into the deal by adding Paris to the recommended roadshow schedule—ostensibly for sightseeing and shopping, because there’s not a single investor in France (besides Dexia, but they don’t need a meeting) that buys their bonds. Another bank impresses the client by pitching a roadshow schedule that straddles a weekend, so they can spend two days golfing in New York. Midway through the roadshow, it comes time to release initial price guidance to investors,
I took a roadshow one-on-one for this Morgan Stanley high-yield deal. I want to bang that blond China coverage chick that came to the meeting,” or I’ll hear a colleague or another competitor say, “We’re doing this property deal with Morgan Stanley. Man, that bitch is a cunt.” For the most part, I enjoy the few evenings and weekends that we do get to spend together. I just also enjoy my freedom and enough time to let some bad out. In addition to having a date night once or twice a week, we also