I don’t often write book reviews on Mergers & Inquisitions (in fact, this is the first one I’ve ever done), and for good reason: there aren’t that many new books out there which are both relevant and entertaining to those breaking into investment banking.
The Accidental Investment Banker was a good addition to the mix last year, but it was more informative than it was entertaining. I’d still recommend it to anyone interested in banking, of course, but don’t expect to be rolling on the floor laughing.
Fortunately, my craving for an informative and entertaining investment banking book was satisfied this past weekend when I received my advance copy of Damn, It Feels Good To Be A Banker: And Other Baller Things You Only Get To Say If You Work On Wall Street, the new book by The Leveraged Sellout.
It Does Feel Good To Be A Banker
Although I’m a huge fan of the site, I had no idea what to expect for the book. Would it be a re-hash of the (still good) content on Leveraged Sellout? Entirely new satirical pieces? Lots of blank pages followed by a section on models and bottles?
I was pleasantly surprised by the format: the book is written from the perspective of “Logan,” a 24-year old Princeton graduate who moved to New York in the fall of 2005 to work at a bulge bracket investment bank.
Each chapter of the book chronicles a different aspect of his life, from what banking is all about to how you get in (investment banking interviews and investment banking resumes) to culture: girls, partying and entertainment.
Although everything is written in the satirical style for which Leveraged Sellout has become famous, each chapter – especially the early ones on what bankers actually do – is highly informative. There’s even a section on investment banking resume and investment banking cover letter tips.
Parental Advisory: Elitist Content
I’m not going to lie – some of the content in Damn, It Feels Good To Be A Banker might offend you. Even if you’re perfectly fine with elitism, if you’re female the chapter on girls (“Mergers are a girl’s best friend”) and his characterization of “Banker Chicks” might go over the top.
If you’re international, you might want to skip over the section on diversity (“Diversity is one of our core values”). And if you work in the back or middle-office at a bank, “Logan” has some strong words for you in the “Holla back, office!” chapter.
Personally, I found everything hilarious – but then I’m not offended by much and only my geography was made fun of. Let’s face it, you’re just not a banker if you’re outside New York (kidding, kidding).
Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery
There are a few existing Leveraged Sellout pieces that are re-used in the book, including my personal favorite – on why you shouldn’t use the mouse in Excel.
However, they are skillfully woven into the chapters and add value to each section rather than seeming like a re-hash.
And there are plenty of new Leveraged Sellout-style articles in the form of “Case Studies,” covering state schoolers, the benefits and charities bankers donate to and more.
Errata For The First Printing
Reading through this fine work of art while off in nature this past weekend (the joys of being a former investment banker), I saw only 3 things I disagreed with in the book:
- The example “Cover Letter” is admirable, but sorry, we still don’t read them (exceptions apply for smaller firms).
- Sorry, Sex and the City is not a “Banker TV show.” I know of no males who watch this or will admit to watching it. Good job with listing Entourage and The Sopranos, though.
- You estimate the cost of an entire Bespoke wardrobe for an MD at… “######” Whoops – poor attention to detail there (hint: the Excel shortcut to properly re-size a column is Alt-O-C-A). By my calculations it runs to $68,000 – please fix and have it on my chair by morning.
Living The Dream
So, who should buy Damn, It Feels Good To Be A Banker?
- Anyone interested in investment banking or the finance industry in general
- Anyone attempting to break into these industries
- Anyone who enjoys reading Leveraged Sellout
- (Basically, anyone who reads this site)
Your assignment for the weekend: buy this book. Live the dream.