The Trading Game: A Confession (Hardcover)

The Trading Game: A Confession By Gary Stevenson Cover Image

The Trading Game: A Confession (Hardcover)


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#1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER • A “vivid” (Financial Times) rags-to-riches memoir that takes readers inside the high-stakes drama and hubris of the trading floor, a “darkly funny” (Guardian) tale of Citibank’s one-time most profitable trader, and why he gave it all up

“Darker than [Liar’s Poker], but if anything even more of a rollicking read . . . the clearest account I’ve ever read of how trading desks really work.”—Felix Salmon, Axios
In development as a limited series

If you were gonna rob a bank and you saw the vault door there, left open, what would you do? Would you wait around?

Ever since he was a kid, kicking broken soccer balls on the run-down streets of East London, Gary Stevenson dreamed of something bigger. As luck would have it, he was good at numbers.

At the London School of Economics, wearing tracksuits and sneakers, Stevenson shocked his posh classmates by winning a competition called “The Trading Game.” The prize?: a golden ticket to a new life, as the youngest trader at Citibank. A place where you could make more money than you’d ever imagined. Where your colleagues are dysfunctional geniuses and insecure bullies yet start to feel like family. Where against the odds you become the bank’s most profitable trader, closing deals worth nearly a trillion dollars. A day.

Soon you are dreaming of numbers in your sleep—and then you stop sleeping at all. But what happens when winning starts to feel like losing? You’re making a killing betting on millions of people becoming poorer—like the very people you grew up with. The economy is slipping off a precipice, and your own sanity starts slipping with it. You want to stop, but you can’t. Because nobody ever leaves.

Would you stick, or quit? Even if it meant risking everything?

The Trading Game is an outrageous, unvarnished, white-knuckle journey to the dark heart of an intoxicating world—the trading floor—from someone who survived the game and then blew it all wide open.
Gary Stevenson, since leaving his trading career behind, has studied for an MSc at Oxford, worked with economic think tanks, and founded a YouTube channel where he teaches people about real-world economics. He regularly appears on television and radio and has written for Fortune and The Guardian.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593727218
ISBN-10: 0593727215
Publisher: Crown Currency
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 352
Language: English
Hilarious, shocking and deeply sad—often in the same sentence.”The Times

“A well written and often darkly funny book that makes a convincing case that high finance is as toxic, reckless and deeply cynical as ever.”The Guardian

“Stevenson is a fine wordsmith. . . . His portrayal as an unlikely hero, brimming with wit and a low tolerance for nonsense, makes for an engaging read.”—Turney Duff, The Telegraph

“Vivid . . . Stevenson is a sharp observer, with a gift for colourful if merciless description.”Financial Times

“A rollicking read . . . Stevenson gives the clearest account I’ve ever read of how trading desks really work, how they’re lubricated by inter-dealer brokers, and how hard banks make it to quit.”Felix Salmon, Axios

“For quizzical observers of the madness of the twenty-first-century money world, [The Trading Game is] well worth reading.”The Times Literary Supplement
“Gary Stevenson’s rags-to-riches memoir exposes a system where the rich can’t lose and the economy is choked by inequality.”The New Statesman
“An incredibly important and timely book, very much of its era . . . The Wolf of Wall Street with a moral compass, The Trading Game lays bare the spiritual vacuity of the systems and processes that both dominate and reduce our humanity.”—Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting

“A thrilling story of high finance—and its low points . . . Gary Stevenson captures what really happens on the trading floor, and he does it with a vivid and original voice and a ton of style.”—Matt Levine, Bloomberg Money Stuff columnist

“Gary Stevenson’s book is a rare parable of empathy overtaking greed. It’s also an absolute page-turner, one you will close with more wisdom and compassion than when you opened it.”—Andy Dunn, bestselling author of Burn Rate

“Not since Liar’s Poker has a book brought the trading floor into such vivid, boisterous life. . . . A switchblade-sharp exposé of the wealth-making factories of modern finance.”—Diana B. Henriques, author of The Wizard of Lies and Taming the Street

“The best finance memoir I’ve ever read. Stevenson’s tale of plundering Wall Street like some kind of cockney pirate is by turns hilarious and harrowing.”—Zeke Faux, author of Number Go Up

“Compelling, intensely readable, unsettling . . . an unforgettable story of greed, financial madness, and moral decay.”—Rory Stewart, author of How Not to Be a Politician

“Astonishing, enraging, extremely funny, and exquisitely sad.”—The Secret Barrister

“Incisive and often humorous . . . an enlightening and frequently infuriating peek into the world of high finance.”Publishers Weekly
“A British master of finance shows how the world of investment and trading isn’t so far removed from organized crime. . . . a story he relates with considerable panache.”—Kirkus Reviews