Michael Lewis started his career on Wall Street and after a foray into writing about the way professional sports franchises are getting more sophisticated at identifying value, he's returned there. Lewis' two most famous works, Moneyball and The Blind Side, were bookended (so to speak) by his first book, Liar's Poker, written about his days working for Solomon Brothers in the late 1980s, and his 2010 release The Big Short, detailing the housing crisis and the forward-looking investors who had the sense to short the massive bubble they saw forming.
Now, Lewis has stayed put for the time being, writing Flash Boys, released on March 31, about the way high-frequency traders (HFTs) are gaming the American stock market for their own gain. Lewis boldly states that the stock market is "rigged," citing the way HFTs buy access to exchanges and use that access to create arbitrage opporunities that meant billions in profits for those on the inside.
Lewis appeared on CBS's (CBS) 60 Minutes; along with the other heroes of Flash Boys, Brad Katsuyama and Ronan Ryan, and Greenlight Capital's (GLRE) David Einhorn; to explain how HFTs have conspired with exchanges to skim pennies off of every trade made every day until they have billions in risk-free profits. The video below is enlightening, and a must-watch for any investor worried that they're getting gamed by a corrupt system.
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