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Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  32,525 Ratings  ·  2,691 Reviews
Four years after his #1 bestseller The Big Short, Michael Lewis returns to Wall Street to report on a high-tech predator stalking the equity markets.

Flash Boys 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 m
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 31st 2014 by W. W. Norton & Company
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I Am Malala by Malala YousafzaiUnbroken by Laura HillenbrandFinding Me by Michelle KnightFlash Boys by Michael LewisA Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren
NY Times Non-Fiction Best Sellers 2014
4th out of 82 books — 163 voters
Flash Boys by Michael LewisThe Art of Startup Fundraising by Alejandro CremadesThink Like a Freak by Steven D. LevittSmall Move, Big Change by Caroline L. ArnoldLeaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
Business Books 2014
1st out of 32 books — 69 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ashley Katsuyama
Mar 31, 2014 Ashley Katsuyama rated it it was amazing
Considering this is about my husband, I might be more than a little biased. :)
Steve
May 01, 2014 Steve rated it it was ok
The new book by Michael Lewis criticizing high-frequency trading has created quite a stir. I’m imaging what a PR response might look like, though not an entirely serious one. It’s structured in FAQ format, but the questions aren’t really frequently asked so much as ones I’d like to answer. The ideal audience would be the inquiring readers of Flash Boys open to a counterbalance.

Q: Who is this Michael Lewis guy and why has this book been making such a splash?

Lewis is an influential writer with a t
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Darwin8u
Dec 11, 2015 Darwin8u rated it really liked it
Shelves: aere-perennius, 2014
“Shining a light creates shadows”
― Michael Lewis, Flash Boys

description

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 actually requires 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
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David
Jul 26, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
Recommended to David by: James
Shelves: nonfiction, business
This book is wonderful; it is well-written, engaging, and the subject is fascinating. I had never given much thought to stock exchanges, trading, and the processes that occur there. Michael Lewis manages to make the subject transparent and interesting! He describes the activities of so-called "High Frequency Trading" (HFT), where buy and sell orders to stock exchanges are intercepted and prevented from occurring at the stated price. These HFT activities go on, largely unnoticed, though they acco ...more
Riku Sayuj

It's All Rigged Folks!

The seemingly democratic 'market' is a class system and the name of the game is speed. There is a hierarchy of speed in place and the haves are looting the have-nots.

Taleb made a name for himself ridiculing the markets, the experts and the traders - attributing whatever money these blokes made to dumb luck. Nobody can game the market, he said. We all liked that. Yes, they might make money, but they sure as hell do not deserve to be smug doing so. Plus, at least we can also
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Mara
On Reading & Rating
For my money (which, since I'm neither a Wall Street tycoon, nor a Russian coding genius, isn't a whole heck of a lot) this isn't Michael Lewis' best work. My reading experience was a mix of fascination and frustration. Why the latter? Lewis covers (and condemns) a whole bunch of different things. Agreement aside, as a human who reads books, this lack of distinction is what resulted in the bulk of my star-docking (I'd give it a 2.5/5 if half-stars were street legal aro
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Nick Black
wow. definitely Lewis's best book since Moneyball or Liar's Poker, though I'm waiting to talk to some high-frequency trading friends before i make final judgments. definitely a hell of a book to read here in Lower Manhattan, in the shadow of Wall Street, before going in for an interview at Goldman Sachs. lots of great quotes and superb little vignettes and character studies (the hallmark of Michael Lewis reporting). quite a bit seemed to have been recycled from his pieces for Vanity Fair over th ...more
Trish
Apr 10, 2014 Trish rated it really liked it
Michael Lewis has given us another great read, leaving us pondering big issues about the latest wall street scam and the point of society. In today’s world, the information he shares about high-frequency trading (HFT) on Wall Street feels dated before it arrives on the page…before we read it…before we can act on it. At first I was aghast that information about the, in effect, skimming or taxing of trades on the [any] stock market was old—this stuff was recognized in 2010! Why are we just learnin ...more
Dianne
Aug 10, 2014 Dianne rated it really liked it
Really well-done non-fiction that reads like a fictional thriller. Michael Lewis humanizes his expose of high-frequency trading and the state of the U.S. stock market by focusing on a few key characters and their stories. There is a lot of financial information to grasp here, but Lewis is an absolute master at sensible analogies that transform extremely complex transactions into ones that are easy to comprehend.

Very disheartening on one hand - human nature at its worst - and at the same time upl
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Sam Quixote
Michael Lewis returns to his familiar stomping grounds of Wall Street to report to the rest of the world that, shock, stockbrokers are as corrupt as ever, even after the 2008 crash!

Flash Boys looks at the phenomenon of high frequency trading and its complex corruption. The image of brokers wearing blazers shouting on trading floors is long defunct with brokers these days staring at computer screens in locked rooms, the trades happening on screens in microseconds. The new dichotomy is that whoev
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Ed
Mar 24, 2016 Ed rated it it was ok
I'm a longtime fan of Michael Lewis, but with this book he's finally jumped the shark.

Reading this book I found myself at first laughing with Lewis, then laughing at Lewis, and then wanting to throw the book in the trash, because he gets the history of HFT completely wrong.

Instead of listing my complaints I'd direct readers to better analyses, like these from Manoj Narang, Cliff Asness, Matt Levine, Matthew Phillips and Michael Peltz.

Lewis would do well to heed the advice of (his cousin) Nicho
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John Stein
Apr 08, 2014 John Stein rated it liked it
Shelves: business
Love Michael Lewis and his narrative style, but think the hyperbole and indignation have gone a little overboard here. I am no fan of HFT and they are definitely a thorn in my professional side, but the HFT problem is just noise. The heros/victims in the book are mostly firms that used to take 4-6 cents per share as commissions, and make even more for positioning trades, who now take 1-2 cents per share and maybe give up half a cent to the HFT shops. The argument goes something like "it isn't fa ...more
Rick
Apr 03, 2014 Rick rated it it was amazing
Fascinating, terrifying account of how the equities markets have been systematically undermined in the last 7 years. Essential reading to understand the state of the public markets today.
Scott Rhee
Is there such a thing as an honest man on Wall Street? Insofar as greed and self-interest is a part of human nature and something that we all succumb to from time to time, Michael Lewis, in his book “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt”, seems to think that the answer is “yes”.

In his latest critique on Wall Street culture, Lewis highlights the almost-accidental heroism of a handful of Wall Street insiders who uncover an insidious new trend in Wall Street that makes it easier for banks to steal lots
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Mal Warwick
Apr 07, 2014 Mal Warwick rated it it was amazing
Bestselling Berkeley author Michael Lewis has been spending a lot of time in the East lately. After researching and writing his blockbuster fifteenth nonfiction book, Flash Boys, currently the country’s #1 best seller, he’s now juggling interviews and appearances triggered by the fallout. I can’t recall any book that has ever before struck such fear into the denizens of Wall Street.

Flash Boys tells the tale of the arcane and long-secret phenomenon known as high-frequency trading (HFT). The book
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Jane Stewart
Wow! Fantastic! I loved it! Entertaining.

It has a guy Brad who is my hero. It reads like a John Grisham novel, but it’s a true story about stock exchanges, high frequency traders, and dark pools. The author is great at explaining complicated technical subjects and telling a good story around them. In the middle of the book I was so angry at the rip-off of investors, I was thinking of writing letters. But by the end of the book, I didn’t have to. Some good things happened. And now, various govern
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cory
Apr 01, 2014 cory rated it did not like it
while this was an interesting and well-written read, it seems to be severely lacking in evidence and more akin to an attempt to shift public opinion for the benefit of certain interested parties.
the starting premise is that brad thinks hft is bad, and from there it's just assertions and statements like "see, we found out this or that kind of thing is happening, i told you hft is bad" without really explaining what is bad.
seems like a thinly veiled ad to drum up business on the "fair" exchange.
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Nicholas Lefevre
Apr 04, 2014 Nicholas Lefevre rated it it was amazing
I got this book in the mail on Wednesday evening and finished it on Thursday evening. Once again Michael Lewis hits a home run. I did not understand high-frequency trading (HFT) but this book makes it easy to understand not just its functioning but its consequences for investors and the economy. As usual Lewis unfolds the story as personal narratives of key players. As with The Big Short, he focuses more on the heroes than on the villains (there are many). The most damning indictment is of the S ...more
Andrew Smith
May 18, 2015 Andrew Smith rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this a decent go - about 25% of it - but I just couldn't get past the fact it's just way too slow and much too boring. It's also very technical, in terms of explaining how high-frequency trading in the US equity market was rigged. And though the author takes time to try to explain it, the explanation is so protracted and woven into discussions between various brainiacs that I lost the will long before I fully understood what was going on.

Not for me I'm afraid, I gave up on this one.
Paul
The days of men in the bear pit screaming prices at each other are long gone in the stock markets, now days it is all controlled by computers. These are so valuable that they are hidden well away and guarded by heavily armed men, and not even the experts know exactly what happens in these dark pools.

Those that do know won’t tell either, as they are making an absolute fortune.

This market, that we have been assured is open and fair, is rigged. And the key that unlocks the money chest now is speed.
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Abhinav
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

So the suspicions were right, it would appear. The US stock markets were rigged, controlled by a select few individuals. And if not all, atleast some of the biggest guys on Wall Street were in the know, actively participating in this money-spinning venture. Perhaps this whole scheme would have gone on indefinitely, swindling big & small investors alike of billions unless someone stood up for what
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Elaine
May 22, 2016 Elaine rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
Not all problems are equally deserving of moral outrage and high dudgeon, but it seems that Lewis only knows how to write at one pitch these days. Whatever the rights and wrongs of high frequency trading are, it's not the mortgage market (which Lewis treated in the Big Short), and it's really not a populist issue (although Lewis does his best to whip up a frenzy at the injury to Mom and Pop, it's entirely unclear that Mom and Pop play any role in this story at all - this is really a story of ban ...more
Andrew Tollemache
Apr 01, 2014 Andrew Tollemache rated it really liked it
This book was a must read for 2 important reasons: (1) Lewis always writes a compelling story on whatever he covers and (2) this book covers an area that has been central to my career and life for 18 years or so. Even though I had grown rather tired and bored of the HFT debate, I found Lewis provided some fresh color and perspective that reanimated my thoughts. His key point(s) is that while a great deal of the rise of HFT might be due to legit computerization and the advance of tech and capital ...more
Agne
Jul 04, 2015 Agne rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those interested in U.S. stock market
Recommended to Agne by: Read and Meet Book Group
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

“Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt” by Michael Lewis is both an infuriating and uplifting true story about the U.S. stock market corruption in the twenty-first century and a handful of extraordinary individuals who, instead of benefiting from the rigged system like everyone else on the Wall Street, are willing to go to war to fix it. Inspired by an obscure trial of Russian computer programmer Sergey Aleynikov who worked for Goldman Sachs, Lewis investigates the shadiest corners o
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Ware
Apr 06, 2014 Ware rated it it was amazing
Suppose you are a small investor and you decide to place an order online to buy a thousand shares of a stock. You have researched the stock carefully and you are planning on holding it for the foreseeable future. You press the send button on your iPad and your order goes to your broker. The broker then becomes obligated to place your order and buy it at the lowest price being offered on as many as fifty stock exchanges and “dark pools,” essentially private exchanges operated by banks and brokera ...more
Ian Robertson
Apr 01, 2014 Ian Robertson rated it it was amazing
In his first book, Liar’s Poker, Michael Lewis sketched colourful and entertaining characters to show us the excesses of a Wall Street titan - Salomon Brothers - at the peak of its game. Later, in The Big Short, he used his considerable storytelling abilities and yet more colourful and entertaining characters to help explain the financial collapse of 2007. With his latest book,Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, Lewis again weaves a compelling story with still more wonderful characters, but rather ...more
Kirsten *Dogs Welcome - People Tolerated"
I found this incredibly readable for a book set in the Wall Street and having to do with high frequency trading. I read it as part of my Good Reads Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/user_challe...

I found this book as a choice in the Kindle Unlimited library so I decided to try it. The author not only makes things clear and readable, but he also makes people that I wouldn't normally find sympathetic and likable exactly that.

I was flabbergasted that there are ethical and open and transparent p
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Brad Lyerla
May 23, 2016 Brad Lyerla rated it really liked it
FLASH BOYS is about high frequency traders and the effect that they have on the stock market. Through sinister sounding things like "front running", "rebate arbitrage" and "dark pool arbitrage", which Lewis describes clearly for lay readers, high frequency traders have taken billions from ordinary investors and made the stock market an even more forbidding and unfair place than it already was.

Sometimes I wonder why anyone, who is not an insider, invests in the stock market. But then there is no
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Sarah
Jul 03, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it
It's kind of shocking to know that I (lawyer) might be disqualified (rightfully) from representing a client because someone in my 1200-attorney firm once defended some interest of the giant corporate opposing party, while regulators have allowed banks not only to further their own interests in their own private dark pool exchanges, but also to act in direct conflict with their clients' interests. And it's lawyers everyone hates??

Enough about me. Lewis's narrative is compelling as usual, moreso t
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Mark Kagan
Sep 12, 2014 Mark Kagan rated it really liked it
A very nice birthday present from my colleagues at the office. An easy read, breaking down seemingly complex market systems into easy to understand concepts with simple analogies. The main message: the market is rigged in favor of high frequency traders. Lewis tells the story of a group of seemingly naive/idealistic wall street types who discover the true nature of the market, and then attempt to fix it.

Being quite a naive idealist myself - this narrative appeals to me. On the other hand it fee
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« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
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  • Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis
  • Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street
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  • Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World
  • Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power
  • I.O.U.: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay
  • Other People's Money: The Real Business of Finance
  • The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap
  • Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises
  • All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis
  • The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America
  • The Buy Side: A Wall Street Trader's Tale of Spectacular Excess
  • Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War
  • End This Depression Now!
  • All the Presidents' Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power
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Michael Lewis, the best-selling author of Liar’s Poker, The Money Culture, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, Panic, Home Game, The Big Short, and Boomerang, among other works, lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and three children.
More about Michael Lewis...

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“The world clings to its old mental picture of the stock market because it’s comforting; because it’s so hard to draw a picture of what has replaced it; and because the few people able to draw it for you have no interest in doing so.” 10 likes
“When something becomes obvious to you,” he said, “you immediately think surely someone else is doing this.” 5 likes
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