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

John Lefevre (Author)


"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."[email protected]

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.

Product Details

$16.00  $14.72
Grove Press
Publish Date
May 10, 2016
5.4 X 1.0 X 8.2 inches | 0.7 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

John LeFevre has enjoyed a distinguished career in international finance. He joined Salomon Brothers immediately out of college, and worked for Citigroup in New York, London, and Hong Kong. In 2010 he was hired by Goldman Sachs to be head of Debt Syndicate in Asia, a position that he eventually did not take due to a contractual issue. He has written for Business Insider and has been interviewed about @GSElevator by the New York Times, CNN, and other outlets.


A New York Times Bestseller
One of Entertainment Weekly's 10 Must-Reads of Summer
A Time magazine Ultimate Summer Reads Pick
An Amazon Best Book of the Month in Business/Leadership & Humor/Entertainment
A Publishers Weekly Notable Debut and Bestseller (#18)

"Shocking and sordid--and so much fun."--New York Daily News

"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."--Wall Street Journal

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

"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."--CNN Money

"LeFevre's workplace anecdotes include tales of nastiness, sabotage, favoritism, sexism, racism, expense-account padding, and legally questionable collusion."--New Yorker

"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."--Newsweek

"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."--Business Insider

"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."--Bloomberg Businessweek

"LeFevre . . . has a clear talent for storytelling and writing."--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."--CNBC

"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."--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

"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

"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

"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

"Shocking."--Times (UK)

"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."--Euromoney