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March 13, 2015

Michael Lewis Reflects on His Book Flash Boys, a Year After It Shook Wall Street to Its Core

Flash Boys, the author’s best-selling exposé of high-speed trading, made some of Wall Street’s richest people very angry. Dissecting the reaction, he argues that the furor has obscured his book’s real news.

When I sat down to write Flash Boys, in 2013, I didn’t intend to see just how angry I could make the richest people on Wall Street. I was far more interested in the characters and the situation in which they found themselves. Led by an obscure 35-year-old trader at the Royal Bank of Canada named Brad Katsuyama, they were all well-regarded professionals in the U.S. stock market. The situation was that they no longer understood that market. And their ignorance was forgivable. It would have been difficult to find anyone, circa 2009, able to give you an honest account of the inner workings of the American stock market—by then fully automated, spectacularly fragmented, and complicated beyond belief by possibly well-intentioned regulators and less well-intentioned insiders. That the American stock market had become a mystery struck me as interesting. How does that happen? And who benefits?

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Read the full Vanity Fair article by Michael Lewis here.

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