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am 21. September 2014
I have worked myself in a related area but I've never seen such a brilliant explanation of the various techniqes to exploit "normal" market participents. eye-opening, highly recommended. Only 4 stars since in the final chapters there is a bit too much advertisement and heroism of IEX for my taste and GS is described as so innocent that I was asking why that is. But read the book, by far the best one there is in this area.
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am 7. April 2014
The thrust: Over the past 20 years, and particularly in the past decade, the stock market has undergone some significant changes. The most visible change is that much of the action has now become computerized. For example, whereas stock markets used to consist of trading floors (pits), where floor traders swapped stocks back and forth, we now have computer servers where sellers and buyers are connected automatically. Now, on the one hand, this automation has led to some substantial efficiencies, as once necessary financial intermediaries have now largely become obsolete (this has led to savings not only because the old intermediaries earned an honest commission for their dealings, but because their privileged position sometimes led to corruption).

It is not that the new stock market has done away with intermediaries entirely. Take brokers, for example. Brokers are still used by large investors to help them move large chunks of stock where the market may not be able to fill the order immediately. The brokers take some risk in this action, and provide liquidity in doing so, since they help move capital to its most useful location, and thus brokers still provide a very useful service.

While brokers have always existed, the new stock market has also added a new breed of intermediary. This new breed of intermediary is known as the high frequency trader (HFT). The high frequency trader operates on speed, relying on location and advanced communications technology to learn about the movement of the market before others, and uses this knowledge to make winning trades.

To give you an indication of how important high frequency trading has become, consider that at least half of the trades now being made in the United States are coming from high frequency traders.

Those who defend high frequency trading argue that these quick trades actually help move money through the stock market, and thus add liquidity to the system (the way brokers do); and that, therefore, high frequency traders provide a valuable service.

However, just how high frequency trading works has largely remained a mystery to anyone outside of the industry itself; and many have become concerned that high frequency trading is not so much a liquidity-contributor as a way of scalping money off of trades that would have happened anyway.

In 'Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt', Michael Lewis follows one man who made it his mission to find out what was going on at the heart of HFT. That man is one Brad Katsuyama, a broker from the sleepy Canadian bank RBC.

Katsuyama’s interest in the mystery began back in 2007, when he found that the trades he was trying to make from his desk at RBC were not being executed in the way they once had. In short, Katsuyama was being ripped off. And that’s not all. Katsuyama soon found that other brokers were also being ripped off—and even the investment firms were being ripped off. And since the investment firms manage your money and mine, we were being ripped off too!! This was big.

Katsuyama’s dogged persistence eventually led him (and a growing band of fellow mystery-solvers) to find that it was indeed the high frequency traders who were ripping him (and everyone else) off (though the HFTs were not the only culprits involved). What’s more, Katsuyama’s team also discovered just how the HFTs were doing it. The long and the short of it is that the HFTs are just gaming the technology. And in a way that is not only ripping others off, but making the system more volatile, and prone to errors and disasters as well (witness the flash crash of May 6, 2010).

Rather than deciding to join the HFTs at the trough (which would have been easy enough to do), Katsuyama and his team decided to fix things. Specifically, the team decided to start their own stock exchange: a stock exchange (called the IEX) that was designed to be immune to advantages in technology, and hence fundamentally fair to all (it was either that or wait around for the SEC to do something—which may take forever).

Now, you would think that a stock exchange that is fundamentally fair to all would be a big hit. But then again, a whole heck of a lot of people have no interest in making things fair to all. Which side will win? The fate of the IEX (which opened in October of 2013) has yet to be determined...

This book is fantastic. The story will confirm your suspicious that truth is stranger than fiction. Lewis writes beautifully, unpretentiously, and makes the characters jump right off the page (that wouldn’t have been that difficult here—these are some brilliant characters). My only objection is that Lewis’ explanations of the technical side of things, while very good, could have occasionally been slightly more clear. Still, an enlightening and wonderful read.
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am 2. November 2014
Hochinteressant und packend geschrieben! Die schwierige Thematik des Hochfrequenzhandels wird hier sehr gut dargestellt. Leider muss ich jetzt noch sechs Wörter schreiben damit meine Meinung veröffentlicht wird.
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am 30. Januar 2017
Nicht viele Bücher können für sich in Anspruch nehmen, Gesetze und Verordnungen ausgelöst zu haben. Michael Lewis hat das geschafft. Mit dieser dokumentarischen Beschreibung der "Flash Boys", also der Börsenhändler, die Nano-Sekunden-Vorteile durch Rechenzentren herausholen, die sie direkt neben der Börse aufbauen, die dabei zu einem irren Marktverhalten führen, das sich jeder "analogen" Logik entzieht. Die Jungs (zumeist) also, die mit ihren Computer-Algorithmen in Höchstgeschwindigkeit mit dazu beitragen, dass die Märkte durchaus volatiler geworden sind - die aber gleichzeitig zu ex-post-Transparenz der realen Marktbewertungen beitragen - diese Trader, deren Mantra schnellste Datenleitungen mit geheimgehaltenen Computer-Handels-Programme sind, kommt Lewis auf die Schliche, beschreibt deren Arbeitsweise und setzt sich daher vehement für Regulierung bzw. "Abbremsen" ein. Die Börsenaufsicht in den USA hat ein Jahr nach Erscheinen des Buches reagiert und den Bereich (verhalten) an die Kandarre genommen. Wow! Eine Wirkung, die tatsächlich diesem Buch zuzuschreiben ist!
Das Buch selbst ist als Dokumentation äußerst spannend. Aber man muss "Wirtschaftsgeschichten" mögen. Es ist kein Krimi. Es ist das wahre Leben. Aber das - und Michael Lewis beschreibt das intensiv - kann ungeheuer spannend sein!
Flash Boys: Äußerst empfehlenswert....
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am 1. Oktober 2014
Interessantes Buch, teilweise etwas langatmig geschrieben aber interessant und ich habe das Gefühl eine grundsätzliche Ahnung zum Thema HFT und dark Pools bekommen zu haben.

Der Inhalt/ die facts sind eigentlich ein handfester Skandal, aber dass das an der Wall street resp. U.S. Politik keinen interessiert ist ja klar.
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am 2. Dezember 2016
many people are trying various e-trading platforms in belief, that they can make some money pushing BUY/SELL buttons and rely on some market charts - this small book simply explains, why there is no difference between that and pushing some coins into slot machine...
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am 27. April 2014
Das Buch lebt von nur einem einzigen Gedanken: High Frequency Trading Hedge Fonds testen mit kleinen Orders, ob gößere Pakete in den Markt kommen und geben diese Info dann superschnell an alle anderen Börsenplätze weiter - noch bevor diese größeren Pakete dort aufschlagen. Und sie profitieren dann vom Frontrunning.
Dieser eine Gedanke wird dann wieder und wieder gekäut. Und am Rande füllen dann viele überwiegend belanglose Stories die viel zu vielen Seiten des Buches.

Ich kenne Michal Lewis von 'Liar's Poker', ein wirklich hochinteressantes und sehr empfehlenswertes Buch!
Aber 'Flash Boys' ist verdammt langatmig, und somit eine Qual zu lesen.
Ein Fehlkauf, und schlimmer noch: Zeitvergeudung.
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am 26. Dezember 2014
I didn't make any research to find out if this story is based on a true story. If it is, then this book is like a "Snowden" for the financial market participants like big investors,small investors and daytraders.
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am 9. Juli 2016
Fascinating read into the inner workings of Wall Street. I really enjoyed The Big Short and Moneyball, and Flash Boys just confirmed to me that Michael Lewis has an incredible talent for storytelling.
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am 8. März 2015
Thank you for these insights, suspensefully written, which explain the personal bad gut feelings about the manipulations of the capital markets, very recommendable
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