A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
There was a temptation to write my review before I had finished reading. To get there first before other reviewers. This race to be first, however, sometimes requires a pause, a reflection about what speed, transparency, fairness all actually require from individuals and companies. The world of finance is often opaque. Between executing a trade with your broker and another individual accepting that trade through their broker there is a ghost world operating on mico-slices of a second. It is a world filled with algorithms that are all focused on a zero-sum game where the individual seems to lose every single trade. It is a wild west were everyone is getting the shaft, except for the large banks and the high-speed traders.
No one is better at exploring the technical world of money and finance on Wall Street (and in Sports) than Michael Lewis. His talent is most obvious in his ability to spot inconsistencies, absurdities, and flaws in a system and explain them using great characters and narratives that the characters tell themselves. There is no Moneyball without Billy Beane, there is no Blind Side without Leigh Tuohy and Michael Oher, and there is no Liar's Poker without John Meriwether and John Gutfreund. There would also be no Flash Boys without Sergey Aleynikov, Brad Katsuyama and Ronan Ryan.
These characters MAKE this book great. Lewis, however, is what makes this story vibrantly great. He is a master of the New New Journalism narrative, a master of timing, and a master of getting to the story before the other suckers do. And... he appears to do it not just because he is fantastically good at it, but from all appearances because, like Brad Katsuyama, Lewis actually gives a micro-F about making the system deliver on its promise
I am a documentary film producer from Los Angeles.
The book that every politician and head of state should read. It should also be required reading for the third world countries dictators that bring their people to misery and poverty.
This book is the story of how the west came across this magic formula that brought wealth, freedoms and human rights even to the most disadvantaged members of our society.
The logic and arguments is irrefutable. The author’s genius is not in really uncovering new historical facts, but putting together a long sequence of causes and effects that seem to answer the million dollar question: How to run a society? (Or why the western model has prevailed)
The book is full of concepts, filled with answers that I looked for, for a very long time. I wonder if anyone else tried such comprehensive explanation of the success of modern capitalism.