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Book Reviews

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt - Michael Lewis

Reagan Helms

This book got my curiosity because I work for a tech company, so the story behind the digitalization of the stock market and how it was overrun by high-frequency traders drew my attention.

Ever since I was a little kid, I've never liked cheaters. Considering that this book is all about people exploiting the slowness of the stock market, this book was under my skin from chapter one. But it was enjoyable all the way through.

It was pretty mind blowing to think about the sheer speed that trades can happen in comparison to the old human-to-human trading that would occur before everything was done with computers. These high-frequency trades are measured in milliseconds, microseconds and nano seconds. which are a thousandth, millionth and billionth of a second.  As a point of reference, it takes about 150 milliseconds for a single reflex blink.

Also, it was very interesting to hear about the joke of a trial that Sergey Aleynikov. He definitely didn't have a jury of his peers. It doesn't even sound like his prosecutors knew what they were doing. They took his laptop out, removed the hard-drive and put it in front of the jury as evidence against him... huh?

While being "technical," this book takes the time to explain things and walk through examples of what a specific kind of trade would look like, with nice round numbers and familiar names.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable book, though there's a lot of swearing. Or really, just a lot of one swear word. But these are stock brokers that he's interviewing, so it kind of fits.


Rating: 6/10

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