Confessions of a Trader | How To Academy


Mon, 4 March 2024

6:00 pm - 7:15 pm GMT

Confessions of a Trader

Gary Stevenson In Conversation With Sam Knight

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Gary Stevenson once dealt in nearly a trillion dollars a day. He joins Sam Knight to reveal his ‘unforgettable story of greed, financial madness and moral decay’ (Rory Stewart).

Ever since he was a kid, kicking broken footballs on the streets of East London in the shadow of Canary Wharf’s skyscrapers, Gary wanted something better. Something a whole lot bigger.

Then he won a competition run by a bank: ‘The Trading Game’. The prize: a golden ticket to a new life, as the youngest trader in the whole city. A place where you could make more money than you’d ever imagined. Where your colleagues are dysfunctional maths geniuses, overfed public schoolboys and borderline psychopaths, yet they start to feel like family. Where soon you’re the bank’s most profitable trader, dealing in nearly a trillion dollars. A day. Where you dream of numbers in your sleep – and then stop sleeping at all.

But what happens when winning starts to feel like losing? When the easiest way to make money is to bet on millions becoming poorer and poorer – and, as the economy starts slipping off a precipice, 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?

Live on stage and via livestream, Gary joins The New Yorker‘s Sam Knight to reveal an outrageous, unvarnished, white-knuckle journey to the dark heart of an intoxicating world.


Praise for Gary Stevenson’s The Trading Game – A Confession:

‘An incredibly important and timely book, very much of its era. The Wolf of Wall Street with a moral compass, it lays bare the spiritual vacuity of the systems and processes that both dominate and reduce our humanity.’ – Irvine Welsh

‘Astonishing, enraging, extremely funny and exquisitely sad – a magnificent exposé of the ‘masters of the universe’ whose greed imperils us all. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.’ – The Secret Barrister

The Trading Game is the best finance memoir I’ve ever read. Gary Stevenson’s tale of plundering Wall Street like some kind of cockney pirate is by turn hilarious and harrowing. A thrilling read that raises profound questions about who runs the global financial system.’ – Zeke Faux, author of Number Go Up

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Gary Stevenson

Economist and Activist

Gary Stevenson left his trading career behind, convinced that solving inequality was the only way to repair the world economy. He has since studied for an MPhil at Oxford, worked with economic think-tanks and founded a YouTube channel, GarysEconomics, teaching people about real-world economics. He regularly appears on television and radio and has written for the Guardian and OpenDemocracy, among others.

Sam Knight

Staff Writer, The New Yorker

Sam Knight is a British journalist who has covered subjects such as the plans for the death of the Queen, sandwiches and late capitalism, art fraud; plus profiles of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jeremy Corbyn, and Theresa May. His work for the Long Read section of the Guardian and for The New Yorker has become influential and wildly shared. ‘London Bridge is Down’, published in 2017, was viewed 4 million times and remains the most popular Guardian long read ever published. Knight, a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2018, has won two Foreign Press Association awards and was shortlisted for the 2018 Orwell Prize for political writing.