Monday, April 07, 2014

WALL STREET - Book 'Flash Boys' and High-Frequency Trading

"High-frequency trading" = high-frequency gambling.  It is also predatory activity that hurts our economy.

"Flash Boys’ investigates how high-frequency traders anticipate Wall Street’s next move faster" PBS NewsHour 4/4/2014


JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Often, when we discuss the financial markets, we show these pictures, shots of traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, but the trading world changed several years ago.

Much of it now is done with computer servers, hundreds of millions of orders done through what is known as high-frequency trading.  This week, there is a lot of buzz about a provocative new book focusing on how it has changed and how one-thousandth-of-a-second can make a big difference.

The book is titled “Flash Boys.”  The author the Michael Lewis, who also wrote “Moneyball,” “Liar’s Poker,” and “The Big Short.”

And Michael Lewis joins us now.  Welcome back to the NewsHour.

MICHAEL LEWIS, Author, “Flash Boys”:  Thanks for having me, yes.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  So, you focus much of the story on this New York financial trader who starts out thinking the markets are all about one thing, discovers that there’s something wrong, and basically goes about trying to change everything.


JUDY WOODRUFF:  Why did you focus on him?

MICHAEL LEWIS:  Because I was working on something else and I needed to learn what high-frequency trading was.  This is a term of art that really didn’t even exist until three or four years ago.

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