Flash Boys

Flash Boys

A Wall Street Revolt

Paperback - 2015
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In this book the author argues that post-crisis Wall Street continues to be controlled by large banks and explains how a small, diverse group of Wall Street men have banded together to reform the financial markets. A report on a high-tech predator stalking the equity markets, this book 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.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2015]
Edition: First Norton paperback edition.
ISBN: 9780393351590
Characteristics: 304 pages ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: Flashboys
Wall Street revolt


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Jan 10, 2019

Plot. Michael Lewis manages to make the stock market understandable and engaging, while exposing what is really going on on Wall Street.

Jan 03, 2019

I enjoy his writing style. This one shows you how deeply rooted is the corruption of Wall Street. HFT does not bring liquity to the market, it brings money to their pockets.

May 14, 2017

An interesting read. Would love to see more details on how IEX works, but unfortunately they were not enough in the book.

Jul 26, 2016


Feb 21, 2016

It's an eye-opener. Rock on IEX from a small investor in the stock market.

Jan 28, 2016

Very interesting and informative. I was surprised that I enjoyed reading about the ins and outs of the stock market. A nice change for me.

Dec 09, 2015

If you are interested in finance/trading stocks this book will definitely get your attention. Michael Lewis describes in detail the process behind the scenes when you push the buy/sell order button on your brokerage account. It will definitely make you re-consider actively trading. Also, makes you proud to hear a Canadian is the one who discovered the issue and had the guts to not only speak up about it but create his own trading exchange to fix it. Go Brad!!

Oct 05, 2015

Fascinating story about Canadian Brad Katsuyama and crew`s adventure to solve a Wall Street puzzle. How they mapped, solved and shared that information. Practical examples of individual complex areas made the story quick and easy to understand.

Sep 29, 2015

My original comments and quotes disappeared but recall that Lewis hooked me from the very beginning, with the mystery of laying down pipes that seemed to go nowhere before letting on the rest of the story. Though full of insider information and complex schemes, easy to follow for laymen. Because of his expose of high frequency traders and "dark pools," SEC has put in regulations on stock exchange order types that existed only to prey on other investors. Hope to see more actions to level the trading field for both retail and institution stock owners.

May 05, 2015

A fascinating, feel-good story about the US stock market...in language easily understood. I couldn't put it down for the day it took me to read it.

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Sep 29, 2015

Then came the so-called flash crash. At 2:45 on May 6, 2010, for no obvious reason, the market fell six hundred points in a few minutes. A few minutes later, like a drunk trying to pretend he hadn’t just knocked over the fishbowl and killed the pet goldfish, it bounced right back up to where it was before. If you weren’t watching closely you could have missed the entire event—unless, of course, you had placed orders in the market to buy or sell certain stocks. Shares of Procter & Gamble, for instance, traded as low as a penny and as high as $100,000.

Sep 29, 2015

Dark pools were another rogue spawn of the new financial marketplace. Private stock exchanges, run by the big brokers, they were not required to reveal to the public what happened inside them. They reported any trade they executed, but they did so with sufficient delay that it was impossible to know exactly what was happening in the broader market at the moment the trade occurred.

Sep 29, 2015

You place an order for a stock, say, Microsoft. That order goes to something called the BATS exchange, at which point high-frequency traders pick up on your order and then race to the exchange with an order for Microsoft faster than you can get there. They buy Microsoft and bring it back to you at an inflated price ....
The U.S. stock market now trades inside black boxes, in heavily guarded buildings in New Jersey and Chicago.
Someone out there was using the fact that stock market orders arrived at different times at different exchanges to front-run orders from one market to another.

May 14, 2014

In March 2012 the BATS exchange had to pull its own initial public offering because of “technical errors.” The next month, the New York Stock Exchange canceled a bunch of trades by mistake because of a “technical glitch.” In May, Nasdaq bungled ...
That was just a sampling from a single year of what were usually described as “technical glitches” in the new, automated U.S. stock markets: Collectively, they had experienced twice as many outages in the two years after the flash crash as in the previous ten.

May 14, 2014

Before the flash crash, 67 percent of U.S. households owned stocks; by the end of 2013, only 52 percent did: The fantastic post-crisis bull market was noteworthy for how
many Americans elected not to participate in it. It wasn’t hard to see why their confidence in financial markets had collapsed. As the U.S. stock market had grown less comprehensible, it had also become more sensationally erratic....

The price volatility within each trading day in the U.S. stock market between 2010 and 2013 was nearly 40 percent higher than the volatility between 2004 and 2006, for instance. There were days in 2011 in which volatility was higher than in the most volatile days of the dot-com bubble.

May 11, 2014

Part 1 of 2 on comples order types: The new order types that accompanied the explosion of high-frequency trading were nothing like them, either in detail or spirit. When, in the summer of 2012, the Puzzle Masters gathered with Brad and Don and Ronan and Rob and Schwall in a room to think about them, there were maybe one hundred fifty different order types. What purpose did each serve? How might each be used? The New York Stock Exchange had created an order type that ensured that the trader who used it would trade only if the order on the other side of his was smaller than his own order; the purpose seemed to be to prevent a high-frequency trader from buying a small number of shares from an investor who was about to crush the market with a huge sale.

May 11, 2014

Part 2 of 2 complex stock order types: Direct Edge created an order type that, for even more complicated reasons, allowed the high-frequency trading firm to withdraw 50 percent of its order the instant someone tried to act on it. All of the exchanges offered something called a Post-Only order. A Post-Only order to buy 100 shares of Procter & Gamble at $80 a share says, “I want to buy a hundred shares of Procter & Gamble at eighty dollars a share, but only if I am on the passive side of the trade, where I can collect a rebate from the exchange.” As if that weren’t squirrely enough, the Post-Only order type now had many even more dubious permutations. The Hide Not Slide order, for instance. With a Hide Not Slide order, a high-frequency trader—for who else could or would use such a thing?—would say, for example, “I want to buy a hundred shares of P&G at a limit of eighty dollars and three cents a share, Post-Only, Hide Not Slide.”


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