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Flash Boys [Kindle Edition]

Michael Lewis
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (317 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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Product Description


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)

Michael Lewis knows how to tell a story (Vanity Fair)

This book has the potential to spark a cultural uprising . . . More than five years on from the Lehman collapse, Lewis has lit the touch paper on the mother of all debates about Wall Street and global finance (Liam Halligan Spectator)

Compelling, a great yarn from beginning to end (Daniel Finkelstein The Times)

When the stories of our times are told, there will be no more seminal documents than the books of Michael Lewis (Guardian)

Who knew high-frequency trading was such a sexy subject? (Bloomberg Business Week)

Michael Lewis is one of the premier chroniclers of our age (Huffington Post)

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)

Flash Boys is remarkable for its moral outrage as it reveals how high-frequency traders have hoodwinked both investors and the public . . . He is that rare beast: an insider who writes lucid, jargon-free prose and who never loses track of his ultimate responsibility to the story (Daily Telegraph)

Remarkable . . . Michael Lewis has a spellbinding talent for finding emotional dramas in complex, highly technical subjects (Financial Times)

He tracks down the men who worked out what was going wrong and exposed it (John Arlidge Sunday Times)

Score one for the humans! Critics of high speed, computer-driven trading have a new champion (CNN Money)

If you own stock, you need to read Flash Boys . . . and then call your broker (Entertainment Weekly)

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 The Wall Street Journal)

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)

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
  • 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 (317 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,566 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
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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69 of 72 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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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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42 of 46 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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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly astonishing
In Flash Boys, Michael Lewis has written a literally jaw dropping account of the stock market. At first sight, this may not seem particularly interesting but, trust me, we all... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Bookie
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the most well written and easy to understand books...
This is one of the most well written and easy to understand books about a highly complicated subject, but Michael Lewis writes which such ease, and the flow of this book makes it... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Mr
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great book to read more about the flash industry. Especially a good read for people with a basic understanding of finance but without the real deep knowledge of trading mechanisms. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Van Delft
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book. Completely engrossing.
Published 11 days ago by Cjc88
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book and slightly terrifying for those of us who ...
Brilliant book and slightly terrifying for those of us who work in the financial world. Brilliantly written with a great hero - I read this in days as it was so fascinating.
Published 15 days ago by Mark Ligertwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for financial markets interns
Michael Lewis is famously remembered for Liar's Poker. Some of his subsequent books seems a bit weak (eg the Boomerang tour) but others have really hit the mark (eg The Big Short). Read more
Published 19 days ago by roddy10
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent delievery
Published 21 days ago by Paraag
4.0 out of 5 stars STOP! Don't invest on the US stock exchange until you've read this...
First let us start by saying this is not fiction. The book was recommended by a customer as a good read and it certainly is. Read more
Published 28 days ago by J. Rainbird
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Interesting read
Published 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
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 month ago by Charles
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