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Flash Boys [Kindle Edition]

Michael Lewis
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (308 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Times, Observer, Financial Times, New Statesman and Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year 2014



Michael Lewis, the Master of the Big Story, is back with Flash Boys



If you thought Wall Street was about alpha males standing in trading pits hollering at each other, think again. That world is dead.



Now, the world's money is traded by computer code, inside black boxes in heavily guarded buildings. Even the experts entrusted with your cash don't know what's happening to it. And the very few who do aren't about to tell - because they're making a killing.



This is a market that's rigged, out of control and out of sight; a market in which the chief need is for speed; and in which traders would sell their grandmothers for a microsecond. Blink, and you'll miss it.



In Flash Boys, Michael Lewis tells the explosive story of how one group of ingenious oddballs and misfits set out to expose what was going on. It's the story of what it's like to declare war on some of the richest and most powerful people in the world. It's about taking on an entire system. And it's about the madness that has taken hold of the financial markets today.



You won't believe it until you've read it.



'I read Michael Lewis for the same reasons I watch Tiger Woods. I'll never play like that. But it's good to be reminded every now and again what genius looks like' - Malcolm Gladwell



'Probably the best current writer in America' - Tom Wolfe


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Review

A beautiful narrative, so well-written. You've got to get this (Jon Stewart The Daily Show)

Dazzling... guaranteed to make blood boil... riveting (Janet Maslin The New York Times)

Enthralling (John Naughton Observer)

About the Author

Michael Lewis was born in New Orleans and educated at Princeton University and the London School of Economics. He has written several books including the New York Times bestsellers Liar's Poker, widely considered the book that defined Wall Street during the 1980s, The Big Short, 'probably the single best piece of financial journalism ever written' (Reuters) and Boomerang. Lewis is contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and writes for Vanity Fair and Portfolio magazine.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 678 KB
  • Print Length: 291 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0241003636
  • Publisher: Penguin (31 Mar. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241003636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241003633
  • ASIN: B00I9PVKKC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (308 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,676 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Michael Lewis was born in New Orleans and educated at Princeton University and the London School of Economics. He has written several books including the New York Times bestseller, Liar's Poker, widely considered the book that defined Wall Street during the 1980s. Lewis is contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and also writes for Vanity Fair and Portfolio magazine. He is married with three children.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back on Form 9 April 2014
Format:Hardcover
Michael Lewis, as a former Salomon Brothers bond trader, has a perspective on the financial markets that other journalists do not. He also writes fluently, and is skilled at taking complex and obscure subjects and explaining them clearly. Of his books, Liar's Poker and The Big Short are terrific, whereas Boomerang seemed to me as if it had been rushed out and rather lazily edited. Flash Boys marks a return to form, lucidly explaining the hidden world of high frequency trading, and vividly bringing to life the personalities of many of the key players involved in it. It raises very serious questions about the financial system today, as if even more of these were needed.
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars F***ing outrageous and scandalous! 2 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I can't believe no one has posted a review saying they are totally outraged by everything this book has documented. The worlds largest banks knowing they are totally ripping off their customers, and getting away with it.

The absolute shocking treatment of Serge Aleynikov by Goldman Sachs infuriated me, and they got away with it with no criminal charges against them, and managed to ruin a guys life in the process. The guy used open source code to write code for Goldman Sachs system, and they didn't allow him to deposit that code back, as is the etiquette of open source. However when he downloaded the code he had written for Goldman Sachs, they called in the FBI who flung him in Jail in 2010 - TOTALLY CORRUPT. You might say, there's always two sides to the story, but wait until you read it.....

Okay, outrage over.....

The book is jaw droppingly good. I honestly could not put it down, and all the while I was reading it I kept on saying 'no way!'. The people who we entrust our money to every single day are so corrupt it's beyond believable: that being the banks.

The story itself is about High Frequency Traders (HFTs) and their need for high speed data, before anyone else gets it. The huge banks of America were more than willing to supply these HFTs with information in order to manipulate stock orders placed by unsuspecting clients so that the HFTs could front run them and make money. The HFTs in turn paid for this information in the form of Dark Pools.

Well, a bunch of guys sought to change the practice of high frequency trading,led by Brad Katsuyama and bring a bit of honesty and integrity back to Wall Street.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
To begin, you should be aware that that the majority of the negative reviews are from people who are (indirectly) being described as stupid or greedy in this book. If you're either stupid or greedy and work in financial services, I agree that you may not like this book.

For everyone else, this is a must read. Lewis has an extremely engaging writing style which makes for a fun read, but the content will leave you speechless. Never before has the greed and dishonesty of the major Wall Street players been so clearly documented.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Doyen
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Like everything Lewis writes, this is a book about an arcane subject matter of limited apparent relevance to most people that is written in such a way as to be very hard to put down. Lewis's secret is to write books about people, and, like his previous work, this is at its heart a biographical study of some oddballs, misfits and eccentrics who set out to change their small corner of the world. The formula is pretty familiar to Lewis fans by now and, as I note below, this one is full of bias and fallacy, but for me this does not diminish the appeal of the book as a gripping page-turner.

Having said that, I found the Lewis formula slightly less convincing in this context than some others - it's certainly not hard to believe that Jim Clarke is a renegade or that Michael Oher is an outsider; but the head of equity trading at RBC? Really? It is inconceivable to me that anyone in the sharp-elbowed, politically ruthless world of Wall St just falls into a $2m-a-year job without having pretty clear and aggressive ambitions to get there. And the other characters, likewise, must have played the game pretty well and been reasonably focussed and compliant to have forged the careers they did.

And Lewis clearly cut corners on his research here. Whether his success has made him lazy, or whether he was more keen on pushing an agenda than reporting facts, I don't know. However, unlike Liar's Poker, whose appeal came from being written by an true insider, this book is written from the point of view of a man whose many decades away from the coal face have left him substantially out of touch with the world he writes about.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating! 3 April 2014
By TomT
Format:Kindle Edition
We all suspected something fishy was going on, but exactly what could never be explained to us, until now! Fascinating!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shows there are good guys on Wall Street 6 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Flash Boys is not as balls out funny as some of Lewis's other books like Boomerang but it is still incredibly well written and engaging. Part of the reason for the lack of funny is that this isn't really an amusing subject.

Most of Flash Boys is about how a large number of stock brokers and investors on Wall Street simply did not understand what had happened to the market after the 2008 crash. The book focuses on a Royal Bank of Canada employee who gradually worked out not only that the market was being distorted by High Frequency Traders (HFT) but also uncovered the ways in which the major banks and the stock markets were aiding the HFTs in ripping off ordinary people.

While many people will already be aware that HFT existed (think Robert Harris's novel The Fear Index) what is shocking about the story told in Flash Boys is the way that HFTs were allowed and encouraged to distort the stock market in a way that served no purpose other than to generate money for HFT. You can feel the anger that Lewis feels about this and the anger that many of the people on Wall Street felt. It does have hopeful moments towards the end but overall this is a pretty depressing story about how Wall Street and the regulators of Wall Street fail to act in the interests of a free and open market.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read, particularly for those new to the industry
Fantastic read, as someone who has recently started working on the sell side in this industry, i can honestly say this book is fascinating. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Charles
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book
Published 4 days ago by Andrew Fleming
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read
Published 4 days ago by Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary and compelling - More about greed in the "Financial Services"...
This is a book you have to work at a bit to read - presumably unless you work in the stock market.
I found it incredibly interesting and very scary. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Phil
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Scary
Published 12 days ago by Luke Fuller
2.0 out of 5 stars An interesting story - unfortunately in need of a good editor
Harry Bingham introduced me to the world of high frequency trading in his latest Fiona Griffiths thriller This Thing of Darkness. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Terry D
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book. Well written
Excellent book. Well written. If you want a good explanation of algorithmic trading and some of the issues affecting it read this book. Read more
Published 13 days ago by S Ablett
5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleasurable and informing read
Very pleasurable and informing read. Put some light on very secretive finance sector in general. This time it sheds some light on hft. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Lucas Bajor
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone interested in finance - up there with liars...
Great read, Lewis has the knack of making very complex things easily accessible. I couldn't put this book down
Published 26 days ago by Adam Krug
4.0 out of 5 stars I would have liked to know more about where the money went as ...
An interesting and thorough analysis. I would have liked to know more about where the money went as well as where it came from,
Published 28 days ago by R W GISBY
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