by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) March 07, 2014
The man behind a popular Twitter account that appeared to provide a rare insider look at Goldman Sachs has lost his book deal after revelations the former banker never actually worked at the firm.
Banker John Lefevre gained Internet fame through his @GSElevator account, where he posted dialogue he claimed to have overheard in the elevators of the top global investment firm, angering many at Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street executives.
Lefevre, formerly of Citibank, had remained anonymous for three years, until The New York Times revealed his identity last week.
"In light of information that has recently come to our attention since acquiring John Lefevre's 'Straight to Hell,' Touchstone has decided to cancel its publication of this work," the division of Simon & Schuster said in a statement.
Goldman responded to the news with some humor. "Guess elevators go up and down," it posted on its Twitter account.
Lefevre, who earlier this week defended himself online, said he was puzzled by the publisher's decision to cancel his contract, reported to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"It's just a comical mystery to me," Lefevre told Business Insider.
"As of Friday afternoon, after all of the noise -- during which Simon & Schuster prohibited me from responding and defending myself -- they have continued to support me and stand by our project. Well, until today apparently."
In a Business Insider post Tuesday, Lefevre, 34, said that "being outed has always been part of the plan."
Vowing his book would still be coming out and to keep tweeting, Lefevre said he has been asked to write regular columns for "two of the most prestigious capital markets publications."
And in a satirical tweet, he said: "Stay tuned. Next week, I will tweet locations and times, at various bars in NYC -- All drinks will be on Simon & Schuster."
Lefevre's Twitter feed, popular with Wall Street cognoscenti and with readers who enjoy seeing it mocked, purported to chronicle the blustery utterances of gold-plated bankers at Goldman Sachs. It counts about 651,000 followers.
"The new standard of cool is hanging out with friends and not ever looking at a phone," one tweet read.
In another, "GS Elevator Gossip" wrote that he overhead a banker say: "I could watch fat people getting out of cars all day long."
Many referred to class tensions, such as this one: "I always make sure I live in a neighborhood with the champagne socialists. No one is better at keeping the riffraff out."
Lefevre worked for seven years at Citigroup in New York, London and Hong Kong and then at a startup boutique firm in Asia. He now reportedly lives in Texas.
He was offered a job in Hong Kong with Goldman in 2010, but it fell through because a former employer said he was bound by a non-competition agreement, Lefevre told the Times.
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