Flash Boys by Michael Lewis

66%

32 Critic Reviews

"Flash Boys" makes no claim to be a balanced account of financial innovation: It is a polemic, and a very well-written one.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

#1 New York Times Bestseller — With a new Afterword


"Guaranteed to make blood boil." —Janet Maslin, New York Times


In Michael Lewis's game-changing bestseller, a small group of Wall Street iconoclasts realize that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders. They band together—some of them walking away from seven-figure salaries—to investigate, expose, and reform the insidious new ways that Wall Street generates profits. If you have any contact with the market, even a retirement account, this story is happening to you.

 

About Michael Lewis

See more books from this Author
Michael Lewis is the author of Panic!, Liar’s Poker, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, and Home Game, among other works. He lives in Berkeley, California.
 
Published March 31, 2014 by W. W. Norton & Company. 289 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Children's Books. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Apr 27 2014
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Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for Flash Boys
All: 32 | Positive: 19 | Negative: 13

Kirkus

Excellent
on Apr 03 2014

If you’ve ever had the feeling that the system is out for itself at your expense, well, look no further. A riveting, maddening yarn that is causing quite a stir already, including calls for regulatory reform.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Apr 14 2014

...Lewis...explores how the rise of computerized stock exchanges and their attendant scams started a battle for the soul of Wall Street...an engrossing true-life morality play that unmasks the devil in the details of high finance.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by JAMES B. STEWART on Apr 11 2014

But a purported contest between good and evil in which all the characters are good quickly becomes dull, especially when the setting is as technical as high-­frequency trading...to the extent “Flash Boys” focuses public attention on this system, it is a welcome addition to a growing chorus calling for further investigation...

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Mar 31 2014

At the start of “Flash Boys,” his dazzling, troublemaking new work of reportorial storytelling, Mr. Lewis summons that sweet old image of a trading floor full of screaming brokers, slamming telephones and hysteria-inducing ticker tape...“Flash Boys” describes the surreal-seeming technology that replaced it.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Andrew Ross on May 16 2014

Lewis has written an effective exposé, but in arguing for the "commercial heroism" of IEX's founders, he ends up polishing the myth of the market as a self-correcting mechanism.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Tim Adams on Apr 06 2014

Should any of this techno-finance matter to the rest of us? At the very least, it is highly readable evidence that since the colossal malpractice that brought the world close to bankruptcy half a decade ago, the sharp-end tools of greed that make instability and collapse more likely have not gone away, they have just got much, much faster.

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NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Michael Levin on May 05 2014

Flash Boys is mandatory reading for anyone who has ever owned a share of stock or might do so in the future. It’s the clearest indication yet of why they ought to hang a sign on Wall Street, and now on the 45 locations in New Jersey where the real stock market exists: Enter at your own risk.

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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Philip Delves Broughton on Mar 31 2014

"Flash Boys" makes no claim to be a balanced account of financial innovation: It is a polemic, and a very well-written one.

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Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by John Gapper on Apr 03 2014

...Lewis has a gift for narrative. He is not the first to write about Spread Networks...But he turns it into a great story...

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LA Times

Above average
Reviewed by Hector Tobar on Apr 15 2014

..."Flash Boys" is a deeply entertaining book, and one that illuminates how much our world has changed in less than a decade.

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Globe and Mail

Above average
Reviewed by Simon Houpt on Apr 04 2014

...Lewis’s central point – that the financial services industry continues to extract exorbitant wealth and other resources from the rest of us – remains more urgent, and galling, than ever.

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The Economist

Below average
on Apr 05 2014

As a piece of investigative journalism, the hardback edition of the book has a few holes. There is no index, nor are there any charts or tables to bolster Mr Lewis’s case...

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Entertainment Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Tina Jordan on Apr 02 2014

The stock market is rigged, and Lewis, author of Liar's Poker and Moneyball, shows us exactly how...If you own stock, you need to read Flash Boys...and then call your broker.

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LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Hector Tobar on Apr 15 2014

Lewis, as always, is exceedingly good at describing the complexities and absurdities of the subculture he portrays here.

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The Washington Post

Above average
Reviewed by Steven Pearlstein on Apr 26 2014

...the SEC chairman has announced that her agency has a number of active investigations into high-frequency trading, which seems to me to pretty much sum up the problem right there...SEC officials will tell you that it’s all a lot more complicated than that. What Michael Lewis has demonstrated once again is that — really — it’s not.

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The Telegraph

Below average
Reviewed by Alex Preston on Apr 05 2014

...the lack of counterbalancing voices means that Flash Boys sometimes feels more like a rant than an investigation. Yet it is the book’s rhetorical drive that knits the narrative together.

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Slate

Above average
Reviewed by Felix Salmon on Apr 26 2014

Thanks in no small part to Lewis’s storytelling prowess, Flash Boys has hit a chord. It might even have a positive effect, in terms of prodding Wall Street in the direction of a simpler, more robust market.

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DNA

Above average
Reviewed by Raju Kane on Apr 13 2014

As with all of Lewis's books, Flash Boys is rich in human narrative and drama. It tells you the story of a former Royal Bank of Canada trader Brad Katsuyama, who after having figured how the markets have been rigged in favour of the HFTs sets up a private exchange to level the playing field.

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London Evening Standard

Above average
on Apr 22 2014

Coincidence or not, there’s no doubting the effect Flash Boys has had, and it even looks likely to be the latest of Lewis’s books to be turned into a film.

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Canadian Business

Above average
Reviewed by Richard Warnica on Apr 25 2014

If anything, the Flash Boys narrative is a bit too neat. Like all Michael Lewis books, it’s a fabulous read. But it also feels like an incomplete one.

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The Finance Professional's Post

Below average
Reviewed by Roy Smith on Apr 21 2014

Lewis based Flash Boys on a story that began in 2009. It may already be out of date. Things change fast in technology, and in financial markets where every trader is looking for an edge.

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The Economic Times

Above average
Reviewed by New York Times on Apr 02 2014

...coming nearly four years after the "flash crash" in the stock market rattled Wall Street, Lewis' book - rolled out on "60 Minutes" Sunday night - punctuated the moment.

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FA Magazine

Above average
Reviewed by Eleanor O'Sullivan    on Apr 18 2014

Lewis provides numerous examples of how faster technology can be exploited to hurt investors, including big institutional investment funds.

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http://www.atimes.com

Below average
Reviewed by Chan Akya on Apr 26 2014

...the "Flash Boys" are rank amateurs, hardly deserving a mention in front of their true masters, the global central banks. Lewis missed this completely in his book.

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Before It's News

Good
on Apr 04 2014

Lewis has a way of making complicated subjects, such as high frequency trading and algorithmic trading, fairly easy to understand. I consider this book a ‘non-fiction page turner.’

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Book Rap

Below average
Reviewed by Dr. Michael Blumenfield on Apr 24 2014

This book mesmerized me but to be perfectly honest, most of the time I did not understand what the author was talking about especially when he was explaining the exact details of how electronic trading really works.

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The Bowed Bookshelf

Good
Reviewed by Trish on Apr 05 2014

It’s a new world, and Lewis excavates a small corner to reveal talented folks beavering away at the underpinnings of our, and the world’s, financial pillars. This was one heck of a fascinating wake-up call.

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Shelah Books It

Above average
Reviewed by Shelah on Apr 23 2014

It's not quite as compelling as a story about a poor orphaned kid who's adopted by a rich white family and then goes on the play in the NFL, but it is a pretty entertaining tale nonetheless.

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Marginal Revolution

Above average
Reviewed by Tyler Cowen on Apr 06 2014

For all the criticism the book has received, I liked and enjoyed it. It illuminates a poorly understand segment of the financial world, namely high-frequency trading, and outlines some of the zero- and negative-sum games in that world.

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http://conservativenews247.com

Below average
on Apr 23 2014

Flash Boys skims HFT like a surfer, thrilled by the ocean’s waves but not understanding the depths or the currents that really define it.

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Naked Capitalism

Below average
Reviewed by Satyajit Das on Apr 22 2014

Unfortunately, the overwrought text and attempts at titillation fails to create the necessary tension and urgency that would have made the book interesting as a narrative...

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https://www.alaskadispatch.com

Above average
Reviewed by Harry Bruinius on Apr 03 2014

Mr. Lewis’s book pays special attention to a particular technique of these savvy automated algorithmic traders, in which they use their superior speed to spot a slower trader about to make a trade.

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Reader Rating for Flash Boys
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