*Flash Boys*, the new Michael Lewis book

For all the criticism the book has received, I liked and enjoyed it.  It illuminates a poorly understand segment of the financial world, namely high-frequency trading, and outlines some of the zero- and negative-sum games in that world.  The stories and the writing are very good, as you might expect.

It is a mistake to take the book as a balanced or accurate net assessment of HFT, but reading through the text I never saw a passage where Lewis claimed to offer that.  Maybe the real objections are to be lodged against the 60 Minutes coverage of the book (which I have not seen).

Why not read a fun book on a fun and understudied topic?  Just don’t confuse the emotional tenor of the stories with a final and well-reasoned attitude toward the phenomenon more generally.  Surely you are all able to draw that distinction.  Right?

Here is a good Noah Smith post about agnosticism and HFT.


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