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Today I read these sentences in The Economist

"Lying, cheating bankers" “IF YOU can only be good at one thing, be good at lying…because if you’re good at lying, you’re good at everything.” Thus a wag imagined one investment banker advising another in a lift. He may not have been far wrong.

Could you please explain this phrase: “Thus a wag imagined one investment banker advising another in a lift.”

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It means "This was how a wag [person who likes to joke] imagined one investment banker advising another in a lift [elevator]".

Edit

Here is the definition of wag (plus examples of usage) from oxforddictionaries.com:

NOUN

dated
A person who makes facetious jokes.

EXAMPLE SENTENCES

Janey was sure that it was a joke by the wags in the Forensics labs - well reasonably sure.

At one point a wag from the crowd shouted ‘Is there a footballer in the house?’

Some wags joked that the ‘9 on Nine’ panel looked like some sort of reality television show.

  • Go on, I know you can do it. Add a dictionary link for wag :) – Mari-Lou A Nov 24 '14 at 6:37
  • @Mari-LouA - Oh, very well then! :) – Erik Kowal Nov 24 '14 at 6:54

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