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F***ing outrageous and scandalous!
on 2 April 2014
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. They wanted to open an exchange, IEX, that was not being led or manipulated by HFTs and give their clients real time quotes which they could buy at without the HFTs being involved.
Goldman Sachs, or the two partners who were brought in changed things, somewhat redeemed the name of Goldman Sachs by 'going straight' and using the IEX exchange to do their trading, and yet there was still resistance from the top of Goldman Sachs, because they would be losing money by not having the HFTs front running.
Obviously I am only reading one side of a complicated story, but Michael Lewis has written an excellent book about the inner workings of Wall Street, and he has managed to make complicated material readable to the lay person.
I'm still aghast at everything written about, and I'm by no means a naive person, but this is just incredible.
If you're really interested you should also watch Michael Lewis, Brad Katsuyama and William O'Brien (BATS Exchange) in a heated debate about this, and then make your own mind: [...] up.