Michael Lewis applies his writing chops to the story of high-speed trading
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Michael Lewis possesses two virtues that are rarely united in a single writer: he has no fear of talking to engineers about technical issues and he’s a top-flight storyteller. In his new book, Flash Boys, Lewis applies both skills to the rise of high-speed trading in the 2000s and the way its enormous complexity was being used to do something pretty simple–make a huge amount of money for people in the know, without those not in the know realizing it. How could they have? “For a market expert truly to get inside the New York Stock Exchange, he’d need to climb inside a tall black stack of computer servers locked inside a cage locked inside a fortress guarded by a small army of heavily armed men and touchy German shepherds in Mahwah, New Jersey.” The heroes of Flash Boys are a band of insiders who figured out what was going on and how to get around it and, ultimately, reform it.