Michael Lewis, the Master of the Big Story, is back with Flash Boys.
If you thought Wall Street was about alpha males standing in trading pits hollering at each other, think again. That world is dead.
Now, the world's money is traded by computer code, inside black boxes in heavily guarded buildings. Even the experts entrusted with your cash don't know what's happening to it. And the very few who do aren't about to tell - because they're making a killing.
This is a market that's rigged, out of control and out of sight; a market in which the chief need is for speed; and in which traders would sell their grandmothers for a microsecond. Blink, and you'll miss it.
In Flash Boys, Michael Lewis tells the explosive story of how one group of ingenious oddballs and misfits set out to expose what was going on. It's the story of what it's like to declare war on some of the richest and most powerful people in the world. It's about taking on an entire system. And it's about the madness that has taken hold of the financial markets today.
You won't believe it until you've read it.
Michael Lewis was born in New Orleans and educated at Princeton University and the London School of Economics. He has written several books including the New York Times bestsellers Liar's Poker, widely considered the book that defined Wall Street during the 1980s, Boomerang and The Big Short, 'probably the single best piece of financial journalism ever written' (Reuters). Lewis is contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and also writes for Vanity Fair and Portfolio magazine.
©2014 Michael Lewis (P)2014 Penguin Books Limited
“I read Michael Lewis for the same reasons I watch Tiger Woods. I'll never play like that. But it's good to be reminded every now and again what genius looks like” (Malcolm Gladwell)
”Probably the best current writer in America” (Tom Wolfe)
To my surprise, I found this to be an interesting and absorbing book. I know nothing about the stock exchange and Wall St so at times needed to push through my lack of knowledge and hope it would make sense. It did. There were enough stories about characters in the system - the programmers - to ensure a human dimension. This would be a good book to reread in the near future as I am sure I missed parts of the story because of the specifics in here about the working of the stock exchange. I am now much better informed.
This is my first book and audiobook of Michael Lewis. I found the story quite interesting, but for several time I was lost in the techinal details. Maybe this kind of book is just not the type to be heard once. But the essence of the story is very clear and the message is encouraging, that being good can also be benificial in Wallstreet.
"I can't praise this book highly enough..."
...Oh yes I can: this book does for High Frequency Trading what 'The Emperor of all Maladies' did for Cancer. It takes a complicated thing that you hear about every now and again in the news, puts it centre stage, explains it in delightful depth to an intelligent layperson, while delivering the excitement and suspense of a novel. As a bonus (again both books) they lay out the moral issues and moral dilemmas, so that the book is much more than a simple documentary of the phenomenon. And both books have more or less happy endings. By the end the good guys are winning. You could not ask for more from a book.
Narration - very professional. Had the impression that the reader understood the material - not always the case with a book like this. I found the ‘stopping points’ for the ipod well organised (by chapter) but rather spaced out. Each chunk was about 1 hour 30 mins, whereas I find 20 minute chunks more user-friendly.
Just when you thought it wasn't possible to get any more angry about the people who run the stock market along comes Michael Lewis with another tale of abominable behaviour amongst the elite of Wall Street and the City if London. His schtick; for those who haven't read his other excellent offerings; is to take the complexity of modern financial markets and render them comprehensible by following a few good men and women as they try to do the right thing in a wicked world while making a relatively fair profit. In Flash Boys he pokes around in High Frequency Trading and highlights a racket in which IT experts and huge merchant banks fleece anyone who has shares or a pension scheme through the deployment of sophisticated IT and telecoms based trading strategies. The self-serving behaviours on show are so brazen and such a betrayal of any sort of professional ethics that they make me want to dig up Tony Benn and apologise to him in person for leaving the socialist workers party. Audible's moderators will no doubt not allow this review onto the website due to the thinly failed swearing and Trot sentiments. C'mon guys - fight the power.
"Love/hate relationship with Wall St continues"
This is another great book about the dark dealings of Wall St and Lewis, as always, makes a very complex story highly engaging.
Good characters, good level of detail, yet lacks the impending implosion that has really made Lewis books shine in the past.
"How to rob your client in a microsecond"
The rise of the machines or how to rob your client in a microsecond; another chapter of Wall Street amoral procedures and shenanigans. It seems to me that this people with the most privileged in our societies are the most greedy and morally corrupt. The one percenters are never satisfied with any number they achieve, because nothing has any real value to them, but out of this culture of greed a few men took a technological stand to create a neutral market and even plain of trade, instead of the usual and against all odds made a go of something that in Wall Street appears Quixotical, to make profit by selling a product at a fair price, not a manipulated price.
Incredibly interesting and worrisome book, that reads like a thriller but is probably a horrible truth.
"How financial markets continue to screw us all"
I didn't like Liar's Poker, it seemed too much like a name dropping session, but Flash Boys is an engaging and insightful piece of work. After the abuse of financial derivatives, the financial markets have decided to use high speed communication technology to rip us off.
If you listen to this audio book, you might feel depressed at the end, and I think that we all should. The stock market is exposed as an opportunity for human beings to steal from each other without using violence or starting an actual war. If you were a criminal it is much easier to steal from people using financial innovations than rob a bank, and you can do this with impunity and become a shining example for society.
The banks and corporations have and continue to "stitch-up" the public and they own politics (both in the USA, UK and round the world). Corruption has now been revealed to be a useless term since our systems have legalised and institutionalised it. As an aside, the film "Chasing Madoff" brings this clearly to the fore where despite the dedicated work of determined and rarely honest wall street individuals especially Harry Markopolos, the biggest crook in wall street could not be brought to justice until the credit crunch, where the house of cards that was the scheme fell down. Harry's work was only belatedly sighted when Madoff was prosecuted.
We live in a world that continues to be ravaged by the machinations of multinationals and banks, both have shown themselves to be corrupt beyond saving. At some point human beings have to take a good look and themselves and think about the kind of world they want to live in.
In the UK (and other western countries) a large part of the GDP is generated by the financial centres. These institutions have hoovered up a lot of intelligent people to engage in the act of ripping off others. As a country what needs are we actually meeting with our daily work? The number of hours people spend at work has gone through the roof but what are they actually achieving? Who really benefits from the work you do each day?
This is one of those books that brings human nature front and centre and sticks it in your face. So what are you going to do about it? Probably nothing.
"The secrets of high speed trading revealed"
Michael Lewis never disappoints. I read his first - Liar's Poker - but listened to his second - The Big Short. He's an ideal writer for audio, given a good narrator, because his books are packed with characters and the stories, although not by any means fiction, always grip the reader or listener. Comparatively to recent audio, I 'd give it 8 out of ten
The ability to capture atmosphere - whether it's a construction gang laying a cable across the country, or a meeting of Wall Street big shots - you feel as though you are there. The cast of characters are equally vivid. And all the while you know you are listening to somehow important - in this case about high frequency traders and their impact on stock markets - learning something about the weird world of high finance.
He brings both the characters and the story to life. Some of the financial and software stuff might be a little tedious to read if you were tired. Listened to on audio it keeps your attention.
To be honest - no. My strongest emotion was -'wow how did Michael Lewis get the idea, master all this complex detail, and turn it into a story as gripping as a thriller'..
"Great great great"
Fantastic story and equally fantastic reading from Dylan baker. Kept me so very intrigued. And as for the boys in Goldman Sachs, well do unto others ....
"Get them out of there!"
Complex story, simply told, great voice
Anger, not from the actions of a single person, but from the collective intent to mislead from globally 'reputable' organisations. Capitalism is in the grip of untrustworthy cowboys who reap billions, whilst undermining their own existence and rip of citizens who do not realise their money is being managed against their own interests. Couldn't make this stuff up
Thank goodness there are people prepared to say no and take risks, for the common good, or at least because it doesn't smell right
"incredible insight into the real financial markets"
well written and read. an intriguing insight into what really happens inside the world financial markets.
"interesting theme but badly writen"
the voice was annoying and took a chapter or two to get used to. the story was fragmented and repeating itself. at the end i caught myself thinking - whom is the author telling the story to? it all could have been told in 3 page article without wasting hours of listeners time. didnt enjoy too much.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.