> Skip to content
Play sample
  • Published: 29 February 2024
  • ISBN: 9781802062755
  • Imprint: Penguin Audio
  • Format: Audio Download
  • RRP: $32.00

The Trading Game

A Confession

The high-wire true story of the millionaire trader, who won the finance game and then blew it wide open

'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 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?

This is an outrageous, unvarnished, white-knuckle journey to the dark heart of an intoxicating world - from someone who survived the game and then blew it all wide open.

  • Published: 29 February 2024
  • ISBN: 9781802062755
  • Imprint: Penguin Audio
  • Format: Audio Download
  • RRP: $32.00

Praise for The Trading Game

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

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

Compelling, intensely readable, unsettling. An unforgettable story of greed, financial madness and moral decay.

Rory Stewart

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

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 Trading Game is Stevenson’s account — his confession — of how he achieved this dream, becoming Citibank’s most profitable trader, and how it made him angry, dejected and ill. There are parallels with Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis, an autobiographical account of a young man’s adventures in the financial markets… This dark but profitable vision is lightened by moments of comic self-importance.

The Times

Stevenson is a sharp observer, with a gift for colourful if merciless description… His breakdown started with trading mania and ended with his exile to the Tokyo office, pleading to be allowed to leave. His bonuses had brought him torment, not freedom.

Financial Times

For a self-proclaimed mathematics nerd, Stevenson is a fine wordsmith. His greatest strength is his ability to unravel complex concepts… Stevenson candidly shares his traumas and experiences… finance, for all its allure and excess, is a world where excess comes at a cost, a cost not measured in dollars but in the essence of who we become.

Daily Telegraph

As a critique of the monstrous modern evolutions of finance, Gary Stevenson’s account of the frenzy and follies of trading "trillions a day" on behalf of the US giant Citibank is powerful… Rude and funny… demotic fast-paced prose... he tells a vivid story and invites us to make our own judgement.


Gary Stevenson’s rags-to-riches memoir exposes a system where the rich can’t lose and the economy is choked by inequality.… Stevenson brings alive the unease of trying to survive in the purgatorial space between being an employee and an outsider…

New Statesman