NEW YORK, N.Y. – Publication has been cancelled for a planned book based on a popular and anonymous Twitter feed about Goldman Sachs and the financial industry.
Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, announced Thursday it would not release John Lefevre’s “Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance and Excess in the World of Investment Banking,” which had been scheduled to come out in October.
“In light of information that has recently come to our attention since acquiring John Lefevre’s ‘Straight to Hell,’” Touchstone has decided to cancel its publication of this work.”
Touchstone spokesman Brian Belfiglio said the publisher would have no further comment.
The Twitter feed, @GSElevator, had hundreds of thousands of followers and purported to offer an inside and irreverent take on the financial giant. But just weeks after Touchstone announced in January that it had reached a deal with the feed’s purported author, The New York Times revealed his identity as John Lefevre, a former bond executive who was based in Texas and had never worked for Goldman Sachs, despite earlier public comments that he did.
Touchstone initially defended Lefevre, saying that he had not misled them and that publication would continue as planned. But earlier this week, Lefevre posted an open letter on businessinsider.com saying the Twitter account was “not a person at all. It’s the embodiment or aggregation of ‘every banker,’ a concentrated reflection of a Wall Street culture and mentality.”
“The issue of my anonymity was simply a device, and one that has suited the construct of the Twitter feed,” he wrote. “For the avoidance of any doubt, any person who actually thought my Twitter feed was literally about verbatim conversations overheard in the elevators of Goldman Sachs is an idiot.”
An agent for Lefevre did not immediately respond to a message left Thursday for comment.