Tweets from @GSElevator, a once-anonymous account that publishes “overheards” from the Goldman Sachs elevator, always felt too ridiculous to be true. But for three years, the purportedly uncensored quips it published, like, “Groupon…Food stamps for the middle class,” served as a deliciously en pointe parody of Wall Street’s upper crust. We all hoped it was an inside job.
Alas, (or perhaps impressively), those Tweets were not emanating from the oft-villainized financial institution. The New York Times has unmasked the once-anonymous tweeter as 34-year-old John Lefevre, a former bond executive for Citigroup who now lives in Texas. He started the account "as a joke to entertain myself."
Business Insider has obtained what they report is a photo of Lefevre, in which he is holding up two rifles.
Lefevre says he never deceived his 629,000 Twitter followers because he never explicitly stated he worked at Goldman. "It wasn’t about a firm. The stories aren’t Goldman Sachs in particular. It was about the culture in general," he told the Times. However, in 2011, the person purporting to be behind @GSElevator told the Times that he was indeed a Goldman employee:
Q: Are you really a Goldman employee?
A: Yes. However, I cannot really elaborate on this in terms of team or location, other than to say that I am a career banker. And to preemptively clarify, I am in a front-office, revenue-producing, client-facing role.
There's no word yet as to whether or not the person from this 2011 interview was in fact Lefevre.
"Frankly, I’m surprised it has taken this long," he said of his outing this week. "I knew this day would come."
Regardless, the popular Twitter account won Lefevre a six-figure book deal from the Simon & Schuster imprint Touchstone. They say they were never in the dark about his identity.
"He’s been pretty straight with us the entire time, so this is not a surprise," said the book’s editor, Matthew Benjamin.
Goldman Sachs, it seems, is relieved.
A spokesman for the firm, after being told that @GSElevator had been unmasked, said in a statement, “We are pleased to report that the official ban on talking in elevators will be lifted effective immediately.”
#1: I never give money to homeless people. I can't reward failure in good conscience.— GS Elevator Gossip (@GSElevator) August 8, 2012
#1: Happy Chinese New Year, or as we will all be saying in 20 years... Happy New Year.— GS Elevator Gossip (@GSElevator) January 30, 2014
#1: Football season is the only time of year when unemployed people know when Monday is.— GS Elevator Gossip (@GSElevator) August 29, 2013
#1: Some chick asked me what I would do with 10 million bucks. I told her I'd wonder where the rest of my money went.— GS Elevator Gossip (@GSElevator) November 12, 2013
#1: Only Neanderthals resort to violence. I prefer crushing one's spirit, hope, or ego.— GS Elevator Gossip (@GSElevator) December 25, 2013
#1: If your bachelor party revolves around a big steak dinner and a strip club, count me out. I did that last night.— GS Elevator Gossip (@GSElevator) January 14, 2014