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Synopsis

Four years after his #1 bestseller The Big Short, Michael Lewis returns to Wall Street to report on a high-tech predator stalking the equity markets.

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.

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CUSTOMER REVIEWS

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt
Average rating
4.5 / 5
1 person found this helpful
Entertaining and Educational
October 30th, 2014
The first 2/3 of the book was captivating, it read like a crime drama you could learn from. The last 1/3 got fairly technical and lost momentum but provided a good detailed look into the world of high frequency trading.
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1 review
Flash boys
September 8th, 2014
Wonderful read! A sad commentary on the free market system. Thank goodness a down to earth Canadian figured it out! :-)
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1 review
Flash boys
July 28th, 2014
Speed of fiber optics, technical advantage of the sortest route over long distance. Horrible commentary on the minipulation of the markets in favor of high frequency traders along with the risk and greed of traders. Amazing story of the high percentage of inside players who didn't and still don't know how the game works and the ruthless lengths they will go to for revenge. Terrible revelation of how the average person is helpless in the game of investment and must take what is left. over.
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
Flashboys
July 27th, 2014
Another engaging and illuminating tale describing the unethical behaviors behind Wall Street insiders gaming the system to make enormous profits at the expense of all investors while adding no value... hopefully the book and some of the efforts related in it might result in cleaning up the system, at least until the self serving rats figure another way to fleece everyone.
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1 review
Flash boys
July 27th, 2014
Very interesting presentation of the dilemma facing regulators of supposedly free markets. For markets to be free, all participants must have the same information at the time of trading. Because HFT have used technology to recover and act on information faster than anyone wishing to trade as an investor on the market, the markets are no longer free. Changing regulation by adding more rules only compounds the problem because HFT would simply game the new rules to preserve their advantage. What is interesting in this case is that Brad and his team adopted a principled approach in trying to solve the problem. Rather than make more trading rules to counter inefficient behaviour, they created an exchange with fewer rules but based on the principle of fair trading. Good luck to them.
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
Shocking expose of market practices
May 10th, 2014
Wall Street is rigged in so many different ways. It has always been that way to some extent but the advent of high speed communications and certain well meaning changes to sec oversight have created conditions where high frequency traders have been able to make billions from investors large and small. This book is the story of how a small group of individuals recognized that this was going and took steps to neutralize by risking to create an informal exchange. I must say I didn't completely understand all the technical jargon (and I consider myself fairly knowledgeable) so a second reading is in order. I know that many market participants are very unhappy about this book, but I guess I would be too had people proven that participants in the financial market we hold so dear were systematically enriching themselves at the expense of everyone else.
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
Flash Boys
May 9th, 2014
Michael Lewis has become better with time with his wonderfully colorful writing. He was already good when he first started out with Liars Poker, but I have enjoyed most of his books since. Flash Boys is another great read weaving together a story that is not only difficult to tell and make interesting. I have enjoyed the story telling style for a non fictional piece, making it easy for me to read it despite my other demands for time. Wall Street has become increasingly complex, mysterious and probably uncontrollable. Shudder to think what next; has the financial ecosystem become more dominant and unstabling.
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1 review
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Flash Boys
April 19th, 2014
Worthwhile read if you wish to understand how government oversight of industries means nothing. It is very heartening to know that people like Brand and others mentioned in the book care about a fair market where most have a fair and equal chance to make "honest" money.
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1 review

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