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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Book Review: Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis, narrated by Dylan Baker (audio)

I rarely pay attention to the narrator for an audiobook unless they are really wrong for the book, and I didn't know who narrated this one, however, I recognized his voice and a few hours in (I was on a very long car ride) I finally put a face to the voice and Dylan Baker was perfect for this book. He has the right amount of practicality and everymanness that you imagine Michael Lewis to have.

Because, as in all of Mr. Lewis's books, he is not an insider (yes, he very briefly in his twenties did work in a trading company but really, he's not one of them) and instead is someone just like you and me, but who can explain really, really complicated financial transactions in a way that is clear and understandable, and even at times fun.

Here he explains the flash crash that happened in 2010, how flash trading became so important, how flash trading works, and why it really isn't a good thing for the market at all—it's just a small group of traders who are siphoning money off the top and contributing nothing. They make trading more expensive for everyone, so they can get rich. He also follows a group of men from the Royal Bank of Canada (initially) who figure this out, decide it's unethical, and set out to create a fair trading market that the flash traders can't scam. Boy, I hope they win. This is a battle still continuing to this day.

Riveting as usual, with insights and perspectives that only an outsider with insider knowledge can have, like with all of Mr. Lewis's financial books, we all ought to read them, as the less we know about financial markets, the more those in the know can scam them, making trading costs higher for our 401(k)s and pension plans, even if you don't consider yourself someone who is in the market.

I downloaded this eaudiobook from Overdrive via my library.

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