"I used to read the Leveraged Sellout religiously, before it...you know, died," an old friend used to say wistfully. The infamous blog may be old news to some, but luckily LSO left us with a non-electronic memoir of his unique blend of sarcasm and humor: "Damn, It Feels Good To Be A Banker."
It's not meant to be taken very seriously and it's a bit dated now (it came out in 2008, which may as well have been another planet), but it's great for laughs and takes a fun look at investment banking. Alternatively, it can serve as a much-needed ego stroke if you're feeling down about your job.
For those who are unfamiliar with that site, Logan ("The Leveraged Sellout") takes the stereotypical image of the investment banker--snobby, pompous, elitist, and every other banker cliche you can imagine--and absolutely runs with it. What was sometimes just as hilarious as the book/site itself was the audience reactions: half of the people don't seem to understand that the site/book is satire, while the other half adapt Logan's Princeton-clad,-or-bust attitude themselves, much to their detriment.
"Damn It Feels Good To Be Banker" is very much an extension/continuation of the LSO website. There are seventeen chapters detailing all aspects of investment banking, from the compensation ("it's all about the bonuses, baby"), to the prestige ("FIN-ance, not FYNE-ance"), and of course, nightlife ("this is how we do it on Broad and Wall!").
I laughed uproariously at the final chapter, in which Logan and company descend upon an unsuspecting nightclub, banker jams blasting and performing unique financial dance moves (including the unstoppable "Private Helicopter" and the heartstopping "I'm on a Call").
In between his elitism-dripping chapters are quizzes and sections including hilarious comments from the website, just to make sure the humble reader is aware of what a terrific service is being rendered just by reading this little tome. If anyone has ever worked with someone like Logan, I'm sure this book's humor will hit right home. You can even take home a few interesting and valid points if you have the mental detector necessary to find them.
For instance, did you know that bankers only feel value if they are out and actively contributing to the liquidity and efficiency of financial markets in the Greatest Profession On Earth? I closed the book wishing LSO would reappear to entertain and enlighten his banking brethren in these hard times.
"I think what I'm going to miss most is the elitism," Logan writes wistfully on his last (to date) blog post on The Leveraged Sellout. So will we, Logan--so will we.
Read up, monkeys!
Monkey's Review 1: Barbarians At the Gate
Monkey's Review 2: The Financier
Monkey's Review 3: Decision Points
Monkey's Review 4: Debunkery
Monkey's Review 5: When Genius Failed
Monkey's Review 6: Monkey Business
Monkey's Review 7: Death Of The Banker
Monkey's Review 8: A Journey
Monkey's Review 9: Damn It Feels Good To Be A Banker
Monkey's Review 10: The Quants
Monkey's Review 11: All About Hedge Funds
Monkey's Review 12: The Unlikely Disciple
Monkey's Review 13: Adventure Capitalist
Monkey's Review 14: The Hedge Fund Book
Monkey's Review 15: Investing In Hedge Fund of Funds
Monkey's Review 16: Hilarity Ensues
Monkey's Review 17: The Prince
Monkey's Review 18: Markets Never Forget (But People Do)
Monkey's Review 19: The Money Culture
Mod Note: Best of WSO, this was originally posted September 2011