A Wall Street Revolt
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 more controlled by the big Wall Street banks. Working at different firms, they come to this realization separately; but after they discover one another, the flash boys band together and set out to reform the financial markets. This they do by creating an exchange in which high-frequency trading—source of the most intractable problems—will have no advantage whatsoever.
The characters in Flash Boys are fabulous, each completely different from what you think of when you think “Wall Street guy.” Several have walked away from jobs in the financial sector that paid them millions of dollars a year. From their new vantage point they investigate the big banks, the world’s stock exchanges, and high-frequency trading firms as they have never been investigated, and expose the many strange new ways that Wall Street generates profits.
The light that Lewis shines into the darkest corners of the financial world may not be good for your blood pressure, because if you have any contact with the market, even a retirement account, this story is happening to you. But in the end, Flash Boys is an uplifting read. Here are people who have somehow preserved a moral sense in an environment where you don’t get paid for that; they have perceived an institutionalized injustice and are willing to go to war to fix it.
Praise For Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt…
turn under the microscope.
— Kevin Roose
If you read one business book this year, make it Flash Boys.
— David Sirota
Dazzling… guaranteed to make blood boil… riveting.
— Janet Maslin
A beautiful narrative, so well-written. You’ve got to get this.
— Jon Stewart
Important to public debate about Wall Street… in exposing what one of his central characters calls the ‘Pandora’s box of ridiculousness’ that financial exchanges have become.
— Philip Delves Broughton
Michael Lewis knows how to tell a story.
Remarkable… Michael Lewis has a spellbinding talent for finding emotional dramas in complex, highly technical subjects.
Who knew high-frequency trading was such a sexy subject?
Michael Lewis is one of the premier chroniclers of our age.
Score one for the humans! Critics of high speed, computer-driven trading have a new champion.
If you own stock, you need to read Flash Boys… and then call your broker.
Flash Boys richly deserves to be the first chapter in a new discussion of market rules and abuses… Lewis raises troubling and necessary questions.
When it comes to narrative skill, a reporter’s curiosity and an uncanny instinct for the pulse of the zeitgeist, Lewis is a triple threat.
— James B. Stewart
[Lewis] is a top-flight storyteller.
— Lev Grossman
A fast-paced tale backed by gutsy reporting.
— Tina Jordan
A tour de force that will grab and hold your attention like the best of thrillers.
— Jon Talton
Lewis writes about the resilience of underdogs, even in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds. He’s doing essential work, and anything that embarrasses fat cats and encourages reform is a flash in the right direction.
— Julie Hinds
Lewis simply tells the truth.
— Will Deener
Michael Lewis has another hit on his hands.
— Zachary Warmbrodt and Dave Clarke
[Lewis’s] ability to find compelling characters and tell a great story through their eyes is unparalleled. He can untangle complex subjects like few others. His prose sparkles.
— Joe Nocera
— Steven Pearlstein
Lewis, as always, is exceedingly good at describing the complexities and absurdities of the subculture he portrays here… A deeply entertaining book, and one that illuminates how much our world has changed in less than a decade.
— Hector Tobar
As always, Lewis simplifies the complex—and makes it fascinating.
Entirely engaging… Illuminates a part of Wall Street that has generally done business in the shadows.
W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393244663, 288pp.
Publication Date: March 31, 2014