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Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt Paperback – March 23, 2015
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“Important to public debate about Wall Street… in exposing what one of his central characters calls the ‘Pandora’s box of ridiculousness’ that financial exchanges have become.” (Philip Delves Broughton - Wall Street Journal)
“Reads like a thriller . . . Lewis is the kind of writer who creates his own weather system.” (John Lanchester - London Review of Books)
“Michael Lewis does it again . . . fascinating.” (Steven Pearlstein - Washington Post)
“Remarkable… Michael Lewis has a spellbinding talent for finding emotional dramas in complex, highly technical subjects.” (Financial Times)
“A beautiful narrative, so well-written. You’ve got to get this.” (Jon Stewart - The Daily Show)
“If you read one business book this year, make it Flash Boys.” (David Sirota - Salon)
“Michael Lewis is a genius, and his book will give high-frequency trading a much-needed turn under the microscope.” (Kevin Roose - New York Magazine)
“Michael Lewis knows how to tell a story.” (Vanity Fair)
“A fast-paced tale backed by gutsy reporting.” (Tina Jordan - Entertainment Weekly)
“In 24 hours, I plowed through Michael Lewis' new blockbuster Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, a book about the huge changes that have occurred in financial markets in the last three decades. It's compelling reading.” (John Aziz - The Week)
“Flash Boys richly deserves to be the first chapter in a new discussion of market rules and abuses… Lewis raises troubling and necessary questions.” (The American Conservative)
“Score one for the humans! Critics of high speed, computer-driven trading have a new champion.” (CNN Money)
“Who knew high-frequency trading was such a sexy subject?” (Bloomberg Business Week)
“When it comes to narrative skill, a reporter’s curiosity and an uncanny instinct for the pulse of the zeitgeist, Lewis is a triple threat.” (James B. Stewart - New York Times)
“Michael Lewis is one of the premier chroniclers of our age.” (Huffington Post)
“[Lewis] is a top-flight storyteller.” (Lev Grossman - Time)
“A tour de force that will grab and hold your attention like the best of thrillers.” (Jon Talton - Seattle Times)
“Lewis writes about the resilience of underdogs, even in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds. He’s doing essential work, and anything that embarrasses fat cats and encourages reform is a flash in the right direction.” (Julie Hinds - Detroit Free Press)
“Lewis simply tells the truth.” (Will Deener - Dallas News)
“Michael Lewis has another hit on his hands.” (Zachary Warmbrodt and Dave Clarke - Politico)
“[Lewis’s] ability to find compelling characters and tell a great story through their eyes is unparalleled. He can untangle complex subjects like few others. His prose sparkles.” (Joe Nocera - New York Times)
“As always, Lewis simplifies the complex―and makes it fascinating.” (People)
“Recommended… Entertaining.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“Entirely engaging… Illuminates a part of Wall Street that has generally done business in the shadows.” (New York Review of Books)
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
It wasn't always like this. There was a time, when a bid was a bid, and an ask was an ask. If you liked the ask, you could hit the buy button and have a buy order confirmed instantly. Likewise, if you liked the bid, you could hit it and have a sale order confirmed instantly. That instant used to be measured in seconds or less. Then came along the HFT algo. All of a sudden, a bid is no longer a firm bid, and an ask is no longer a firm ask. You can hit the bid, but instead of selling instantly, you now become the ask price, and the bid just got lowered by a penny or more, and the market is moving away from you. Most of the time, the price move is a head fake - an illusion, trying to get you to trade at a price with "scalping" built-in against you. If you are willing to stick around, the precise price you want will return and you can have your trade. But other times when execution really matters, it was all real, the price you were willing to trade at just got shifted permanently right before your eyes and somebody "front-run" you.
I decided to retire, partly out of disgust, partly out of my lack of financial ambition. I learned a while ago, if the first million can't make you happy, that you have to accumulate more, you will never be content. If you have to play the rigged game to add more riches to your money pile that most human beings will never see in their lifetime, I feel sorry for you. Life is too short for me to play that game.
Addendum: This book was written for the lay person, so was my review.Read more ›
The main narrative involves Brad Katsuyama, a trader at the Royal Bank of Canada, a relatively obscure firm that is no where near the top tier when it comes to Wall Street trading. Katsuyama discovers that his trades aren't getting filled as he expects, and he becomes suspicious and goes looking for the problem. He ultimately discovers the world of high frequency trading, and the fact that the stock market is essentially rigged by firms that are able to use their speed advantage to game the system and siphon a little money off nearly every trade.
The book is a great read, and gives a pretty cohesive overview of high frequency and algorithmic trading. Lewis focuses almost entirely on the speed advantage from shorter fiber paths, but in fact there are many issues beyond that. For example, artificial intelligence is used to build trading algorithms that read special machine-formatted news feeds and place trades almost instantly. If you enjoy this book, you might also like The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future, which looks at the more general impact of computers, algorithms and artificial intelligence on the whole economy and society.Read more ›
But the more I read and, more important, the more I checked his story with my colleagues on the operations side of the financial markets, the more it becomes apparent that Lewis has missed the real story – and perhaps deliberately. The headline of “Flash Boys” is about Wall Street traders using fast technology and unfair tactics to trade ahead of retail investors – and they do – but Lewis misses the real issues, namely: 1) a lack of transparency and 2) deliberate complexity.
It is important to distinguish between issues related to the “flash crash” of May 2010, when the deliberately fragmented ghetto that is the US equity markets almost melted down and the daily business of HFT. The former is discussed in an important 2011 paper by Ananth Madhavan of BlackRock, Inc. Unfortunately, as the title of his book confirms, Lewis combines the two issues together into an often confusing narrative that is almost impossible for laymen to understand.
The abusive aspect of HFT which Lewis rightly identifies is not so much about the speed of the trading but rather always being first in line. If you think of the current market price of a stock, a couple of years ago, the trader using HFT used to sit just above and below the current market price, and sought to execute quickly when the market price either went up or down.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
AN HONEST DOCUMENTATION OF WALL STREET'S SEEMINGLY ENDLESS MACHINATIONS FOR GREED. DAMNING!Published 1 day ago by Richard A. Loveall
Intriguing book. Easy to read, plenty of domain information. The end result was a little depressing in that you learn just how rigged Wall Street is. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Frederic Messinger
Like all of Michael's book, it is both informative and entertaining.Published 3 days ago by Col Bill
Everyone with an interest in the viability of America should read this book. And read it before the next crash!Published 4 days ago by belma753
After reading this book, I feel as if I've taken a blindfold off and am now dazzled by too much light for eyes used to the dark. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Rusty Staples
A must read for anyone who wants to understand contemporaneous financial markets!Published 9 days ago by FelipeDex
Michael Lewis trades off his name brilliantly here to write a well written book about very little. I found it a pointless read but maybe people further removed from the markets... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Rachel