Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

Michael Lewis. Norton, $27.95 (274p) ISBN 978-0-393-24466-3
In his latest captivating expedition into the marketplace jungle, Lewis (Moneyball) explores how the rise of computerized stock exchanges and their attendant scams started a battle for the soul of Wall Street. He probes the subterfuges of high frequency traders who, assisted by banks and brokerages happy to sell out customers, use blindingly fast data links to gain inside information on investors' trades and then exploit them on today's entirely digital stock markets. At the center of his novelistic narrative is a New York mosaic: Brad Katsuyama, a Canadian-born trader with a conscience; Ronan, a hot-headed Irish telecom expert; and a Dostoevskian cast of Slavic programmers veering between existential angst and saintly resignation. This cast bands together to expose the market manipulations and then start their own honest stock exchange. Lewis does his usual superb job of explicating the inexplicable in his lucid, absorbing account of the crossroads of high-tech data transfer and byzantine market strategies, where milliseconds of signaling speed yield billions in profits. He also presents a rich sociology of Wall Street's assholes-vs.-geeks culture clash between greedy, blustering financial honchos and the flickers of rationalism and humanity in the tech people they need to run their markets. The result is an engrossing true-life morality play that unmasks the devil in the details of high finance. Agent: Al Zuckerman, Writer's House. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/14/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
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FORMATS
Compact Disc - 8 pages - 978-1-4423-7027-2
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