Roose got his hands on the book proposal for Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance and Excess in the World of Investment Banking, which touts istelf as “the definitive exposure of investment banking culture today.”
Some of the more colourful anecdotes from the pitch:
The Stakeout: A degenerate IT person informs me that our competitor’s Head of Regional Sales has been spotted on multiple occasions shamelessly trolling for hookers (the “smash-and-grab”) in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district. There’s only one thing to do: stakeout.
The Handover: The outgoing Hong Kong hedge-fund sales guy has one week overlap to show me the ropes. Our first meeting, to introduce me to one of his best clients, involves karaoke, cocaine, and prostitutes. This week teaches me all I need to know about banking in Asia, and almost kills me.
Fitting, seeing as the book is being represented by the literary who helped get Tucker Max on his way. But @GSElevator told Roose he wants his book to be more in the vein of Liar’s Poker, Michal Lewis’s seminal tell-all about the debaucherous days at Salomon Brothers in the 1980s.
So how does @GSElevator’s experience compare to Lewis’s? He was kind enough to send Business Insider a note explaining:
I feel I have been uniquely positioned (having worked across investment banking, capital markets, and sales and trading on 3 continents) during an amazing period in the history of the industry… Similar to Michael Lewis, I think my stories can capture the essence of Wall Street.
Quite a few people have compared my book to Wolf of Wall Street, which is absurd to me. Bucket shop scam artists who peddle penny stocks to names in a phone book aren’t even allowed into community college, let alone on Wall Street.
Great… So scumbags break the law and party like rock stars; I think I got it the first time (Boiler Room).
My book is not just about excess, there’s an actual culture there — and that brings me back to Liar’s Poker.
Readers will take away from it what they want. Similar to my Twitter feed, some people will love it and perversely aspire to this kind of career path or lifestyle.
For others who work or have worked in the industry, it will ring true and remind them of things they may have experienced or heard about, although I would bet that my stories are slightly more outrageous.
And for people who view Wall Street tales as vulgar or grotesque, the hope is that they’re able to appreciate the subtle cynicism, and will see my efforts as an attempt to pull back the curtain. That’s my real motivation.
I think these are funny, insightful, and entertaining true stories that cover a broad range of topics. I am trying to tell them in a way such that there is something in there for everyone.
Yes, these are my stories, but it’s not just about me. It’s about the guys in black tie at the Robin Hood Gala, the best and brightest, the guys you want your daughter to marry, the personification of hard-work, success, and respectability.
That person is more than what they seem, they’re also is part of the dark, dysfunctional, and deviant side that permeates Wall Street to its core.
I don’t necessarily aim to change anyone’s perceptions. After reading what are a collection of very funny and entertaining stories, people can draw their own conclusions.
We’ll be waiting for our advanced copy.
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