Flash Boys is about a small group of Wall Street guys who figure out that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders and that, post-financial crisis, the markets have become not more free but less, and more controlled by the big Wall Street banks.Read more...
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Flash Boys is about a small group of Wall Street guys who figure out that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders and that, post-financial crisis, the markets have become not more free but less, and more controlled by the big Wall Street banks. Working at different firms, they come to this realization separately; but after they discover one another, the flash boys band together and set out to reform the financial markets. This they do by creating an exchange in which high-frequency trading--source of the most intractable problems--will have no advantage whatsoever.
The characters in Flash Boys are fabulous, each completely different from what you think of when you think "Wall Street guy." Several have walked away from jobs in the financial sector that paid them millions of dollars a year. From their new vantage point they investigate the big banks, the world's stock exchanges, and high-frequency trading firms as they have never been investigated, and expose the many strange new ways that Wall Street generates profits.
The light that Lewis shines into the darkest corners of the financial world may not be good for your blood pressure, because if you have any contact with the market, even a retirement account, this story is happening to you. But in the end, Flash Boys is an uplifting read. Here are people who have somehow preserved a moral sense in an environment where you don't get paid for that; they have perceived an institutionalized injustice and are willing to go to war to fix it.
- ISBN-13: 9780393244663
- ISBN-10: 0393244660
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
- Publish Date: March 2014
- Page Count: 274
Books > Business & Economics > Corporate & Business History - General
Books > Business & Economics > Industries - Financial Services
Books > Business & Economics > Investments & Securities - Analysis & Trading Strategies
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-04-14
- Reviewer: Staff
In his latest captivating expedition into the marketplace jungle, Lewis (Moneyball) explores how the rise of computerized stock exchanges and their attendant scams started a battle for the soul of Wall Street. He probes the subterfuges of high frequency traders who, assisted by banks and brokerages happy to sell out customers, use blindingly fast data links to gain inside information on investors' trades and then exploit them on today's entirely digital stock markets. At the center of his novelistic narrative is a New York mosaic: Brad Katsuyama, a Canadian-born trader with a conscience; Ronan, a hot-headed Irish telecom expert; and a Dostoevskian cast of Slavic programmers veering between existential angst and saintly resignation. This cast bands together to expose the market manipulations and then start their own honest stock exchange. Lewis does his usual superb job of explicating the inexplicable in his lucid, absorbing account of the crossroads of high-tech data transfer and byzantine market strategies, where milliseconds of signaling speed yield billions in profits. He also presents a rich sociology of Wall Street's assholes-vs.-geeks culture clash between greedy, blustering financial honchos and the flickers of rationalism and humanity in the tech people they need to run their markets. The result is an engrossing true-life morality play that unmasks the devil in the details of high finance. Agent: Al Zuckerman, Writer's House. (Apr.)