Flash Boys Book Summary - Flash Boys Book explained in key points
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Flash Boys summary

Michael Lewis

A Wall Street Revolt

Brief summary

Flash Boys by Michael Lewis is a non-fiction book that explores high-frequency trading on Wall Street. It reveals how computerized trading is rigged to exploit investors and how a group of traders combated these practices to create a fairer market.

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    Flash Boys
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    Brad Katsuyama sold large batches of shares for big investment firms on public exchanges.

    Our story begins in 2007 with Brad Katsuyama, the head of the Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) stock brokerage team in New York.

    Brad’s job was to sell shares on public stock exchanges on behalf of large investment firms. These large firms typically wanted to sell huge quantities of shares at once and this was problematic because there usually wasn’t enough demand on the open market to buy that many shares.

    Imagine, for example, an investment firm wants to sell three million shares of stock in a company called Solectron, but the stock exchanges only have demand for one million shares at, say, $3.70 a share. The investment firm could offload the first million shares at this price, but would then need to spend time and energy trying to sell the remaining two million without the price dropping too much, as it tends to do when large amounts of shares are sold.

    Instead of doing this themselves, the company would sell the shares to Brad at RBC, who would handle the resale. The investment firm might sell those three million shares to RBC for $3.65 a share, giving Brad a $0.05 discount compared to the market price for helping them out. Brad would go on to sell the first million with no problem at $3.70 and then try selling the remaining two million at an average price of at least $3.63, as this would allow him to profit on the deal.

    By helping match supply to demand, Brad is actually performing a valuable service to the financial system: he’s facilitating a liquid market where sellers can sell and buyers can buy with ease.

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    What is Flash Boys about?

    Flash Boys (2014) is an investigation into the dark underbelly of the US financial markets. It also chronicles the birth of a new stock exchange, the IEX, created to counteract a rigged system that was facilitated by technological loopholes and a lack of transparency.

    Flash Boys Review

    Flash Boys* (2014) sheds light on the secretive world of high-frequency trading and its impact on the financial markets. Here's why this book is a must-read:

    • It reveals the unseen tactics used by Wall Street insiders to gain an unfair advantage, exposing a hidden world that affects all investors.
    • The book offers a compelling narrative by following the stories of a group of individuals who challenge the status quo, making it both informative and gripping.
    • Through meticulous research and real-life examples, the book unveils the consequences of high-frequency trading, highlighting the need for transparency and fair practices in the financial industry.

    Who should read Flash Boys?

    • Anyone who’s ever invested in the stock market
    • People interested in stories of financial corruption
    • Fans of underdogs who fight the system

    About the Author

    Michael Lewis is an investigative journalist and author who has published fifteen nonfiction books, eight of which were national best sellers in the United States. In 2011, Lewis’s book Moneyball was turned into a major film starring Brad Pitt and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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    Flash Boys FAQs 

    What is the main message of Flash Boys*?

    In the book Flash Boys*, the main message revolves around high-frequency trading and its impact on the stock market.

    How long does it take to read Flash Boys*?

    The estimated reading time for Flash Boys* is a few hours. With the Blinkist summary, you can grasp the key insights in just 15 minutes.

    Is Flash Boys* a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Flash Boys* is definitely worth reading. It sheds light on the hidden world of high-frequency trading and offers a compelling narrative that will leave you thinking.

    Who is the author of Flash Boys*?

    Michael Lewis is the author of Flash Boys*.

    What to read after Flash Boys?

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