March 30, 2020

The Graze — Podcast Highlights: A Conversation with #FinMeme King, @Litquidity

Since I started @GSElevator to illuminate and satirize Wall Street bro culture in a credible, substantive, and humorous way, I have grown an affinity for and fascination with the explosion of the #FinMeme genre of Instagram — where mostly finance bros share (and exploit) niche memes about everything from Excel spreadsheets and MD etiquette, to Vineyard Vines and “deal sleds”.

The current reigning king of financial memes is @litquidity.

So, of course, I wanted to have him on our new podcast, The Graze — a collaborative effort between @GSElevator and @TheWhim — where we talk finance, lifestyle, politics, and culture with an eclectic group of guests.

In order to protect his identity, we modified his voice for the podcast, which can be found here, with highlights below:

Who is Litquidity…

He (in his late 20s) currently works on the buy-side for a niche Private Equity firm, having spent his formative professional years on the sell-side (TMT) for a bulge bracket firm.

On FinMeme…

“Banking culture is something that is easy to mock. If you can mock a frat guy with their polos or whatever, you can do the same thing with finance, with their Patagonia vests (“The Midtown Uniform”), Daytona watches, and Excel jokes.”

Why does #FinMeme Resonate…

“People know The Wolf of Wall Street and Billions — and that’s what Main Street sees — but that’s not the view of the boots on the ground, people like me. And I’m here to give them the real view, with an injection of humor. Also, I want to bring people working in the industry together.”

I get it. When I worked as an analyst, and all of my friends from college were poor, it was hard to find like-minded, relatable people who understood what I was going through — working 100-hour weeks, blacking out multiple times a week, and then repeating the process all over again.

What do you think of other #FinMeme Accounts…

“It’s easy to see who has credibility, who is fake, and who is just stealing memes to monetize the space. Arbitrage Andy, Levered Lloyd, NotYourFathersBroker, BankingPledge, and Hoeing For Yield are all great. TrustFundTerry is a hack, and a favor-trading shill bringing toxic high school clique dynamics to the community instead of just vibing.” (We’ll give TFT a platform to respond to this claim because my interaction with him has been positive.)

I’ll add — > MrsDowJones is a tasteless, fraudulent hack, and finance illiterate, who relies on her Dad sending her to West Palm Beach to generate content.

How you balance your real job with Instagram…

“The office bathroom is my meme office right now. But otherwise, I only trust a handful of people (college and analyst friends) with my identity. And I never leave my cell phone on my desk.”

What does Bonus Szn look like…

“Numbers are down, despite record profits. It’s not looking good, but I’ll still pop some bottles and take a vacation with my boys, but for the most part, I want to invest it in private deals and real estate.”

How PC culture has changed Wall Street…

“Goldman Sachs just announced they won’t do IPOs for companies that don’t have diverse boards. BULLSHIT. They’ll still do business in China, Latin America, and CEEMEA.”

I stand by this statement, which I have said before: If you work at Goldman Sachs in the Emerging Markets, you can still expense prostitutes and drugs.

Speaking of Drugs…

“The cocaine days I read about are now mostly limited to the Emerging Markets, but we all share Adderall daily.”

View on the election cycle…

“I generally view #FinMeme as an escape from politics, but I think Trump is going to win. The other side is simply (and remarkably post-2016) out-of-touch. Voters don’t want speeches written by kids from Yale, unconnected from the real world.”

What tips would you have for someone who wants to follow your career path…

“You can’t wear Gucci loafers to a job interview. And if you’re wearing monk straps, I’m gonna grill you on brain teasers and valuation rationale. Get everything — suits, jackets, dress shirts, pants, jeans — tailored.”

“But, it’s pretty simple. Most applicants come from target schools with great resumes. So, just be someone who I’d want to sit next to in a bullpen at 2am, or stuck, drinking beers with, at an airport lounge for a few hours.”

For more, including the future of FinMeme, how accounts are monetizing the genre, where Litquidity wants to be in five years, and his unhealthy obsession with Genie Bouchard, watch and subscribe to the full podcast on Youtube, Apple, or Spotify.

John LeFevre is the creator of @GSElevator, the founder of a fashion line, a podcast host, and the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Straight To Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, And Billion-Dollar Deals, currently in development as a major motion picture.

John LeFevre

John LeFevre

Former banker (NYC, London, HK), social media character (GSElevator), and bestselling author (Straight To Hell)

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