When the Twitter handle @GSElevator first launched, I followed it for a while, but soon thereafter unfollowed. Some of it was funny — very funny — but it read less like overheard true conversations, and more like what someone imagined would be overheard in a Goldie elevator.
I hadn’t thought about it until a reader sent me a link to a hilarious story about a roadshow gone terribly wrong. It confirmed my suspicions that this was being written by a young aspiring sitcom writer, and not a banker. More on that in a moment.
@GSElevator author is supposedly a “former first-year analyst, now working in Goldman’s investment banking and capital markets divisions.” I highly doubt that for a variety of reasons, starting with the fictitious parody-like way they read, rather then genuine conversation.
Then there is the math: Think just for a brief moment about every elevator ride you have ever taken — you are either with a large group of people, where no one speaks — or with a smaller group where there is some conversation. Even if we expand the geography to include offices, hallways, lobbies, dining rooms, glimpses of such explicit and inappropriate speaking come along infrequently. Certainly not two or three times per day. Even if a team of 1000s of eavesdroppers are listening, transcribing and mailing in the Tweets to a central editor, there simply are not that many offhandly humorous statements made in banks in New York / London / Hong Kong. It would quickly exhaust the global supply of that rare earth mineral hilarium.
All good bankers understand Risk Factors — its explicitly detailed on all their documents. Consider the risk of getting caught. One or two of these overheard snippets would help triangulate who the eavesdropper is — but post 100s and the risks of getting found out go up exponentially. Goldie’s security people could geolocate the Tweeter to their exact longitude and latitude, floor and desk seat in a day. Too many people would see these clips and be able to tag the 3rd man in the elevator as the source. Hence, they are most likely fictitious.
The final piece of evidence comes with this column: Your Average Business Trip…Gone Horribly Wrong. It screams professional (or aspiring professional) comedy writer, attempting to follow the Twitter trail blazed by Justin Halpern’s @ShitMyDadSays to sitcom glory. It is clever, well written, and rather hilarious. It also so obviously identifies its author to the rest of the folks in the tale that he would immediately be outed. That is before we even get to the publication site, Total Frat Move — a tell this is no Goldman alum.
We can deduce that at best, this is someone who worked in a large office — law firm, bank, etc., and has an ear for ddialogue and a sharp sense of humor. My money is on an MBA drop out, who has enough jargon to pass to laypeople, but uses it awkwardly enough that it fails the sniff test.
Regardless, Your Average Business Trip…Gone Horribly Wrong an outrageous and funny piece of writing, an excellent calling card for networks looking for an original new series. It is simply way too funny to be written by a real banker.
Good luck, @GSElevator with your career in Hollywood — I look forward to your first take-no-prisoners movie/sitcom. Just be forewarned — they are as blood thirsty in LaLa land as anyone who works for the Vampire Squid.
Update 1, Feb 9, 2012 10:41am:
The Epicurean Dealmaker reached the same conclusion 6 months ago . . .
Update 2, Feb 10, 2012 1:22pm :
@GSElevator responds here
Roadshow Gone Horribly Wrong
By gselevator 23 days ago
Tweets that feed into Wall St elevator gossip (FT.com)
Investment Banking Meet the Goldman Sachs Banker Behind @GSElevator (Dealbook)