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Synopsis

In just the past few years, the equity markets have been transformed into a high-speed casino that’s a pure crapshoot: a white-knuckle rollercoaster ride that has left individual investors legitimately terrified of equities. The Flash Crash of May 6, 2010–when the DJIA plummeted 734 points in 17 minutes, and dozens of top companies traded as low as zero–was just a harbinger of disasters to come. In Crap Shoot Investing, Barron’s Washington Editor Jim McTague reveals the twin causes of this massive transformation: high-frequency traders using mathematical hocus pocus, and blundering regulators whose attempts to promote long-term investment have massively backfired. McTague takes you through the Flash Crash moment by moment, revealing what happened and how it happened. Next, he burrows “under the volcano” to uncover the titanic, uncontrolled forces now at work in equity markets, showing investors exactly what they’re jumping into when they buy and sell stock today. You’ll learn how new exchanges, desperate for cash, are attracting high-frequency traders at everyone else’s expense… how “dark pools” of hidden trades are tilting the playing field…how even small investors are promoting dangerous volatility. McTague explains why regulators continue to ignore the big picture as the markets accelerate towards chaos. Last but not least, he presents a rational strategy for investors who need to get ahead in markets that have become riskier than most casinos.

 

"A valuable read for anyone considering investing in equity markets."

Reprinted with permission from CHOICE http://www.cro2.org, copyright by the American Library Association.

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