"I’ve always been your biggest fan."
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Ronan, for his part, couldn’t quite believe how ordinary the people on Wall Street were. “It’s a whole industry of bullshit,” he said. The first thing that struck Ronan about a lot of the big investors he met was their insecurity. “People in this industry don’t want to admit they don’t know something,” he said. “Almost never do they say, ‘No, I don’t know. Tell me.’ I’d say, ‘Do you know what co-location is?’ And they’d say, ‘Oh yeah, I know about co-location.’ Then I’d say, ‘You know, HFT now puts their servers in the same building with the exchange, as close as possible to the exchange’s matching engine, so they get market data before everyone else .’ And people are like, ‘What the fuck??!! That’s got to be illegal!’ We met with hundreds of people. And no one knew about it.” He was also surprised to find how wedded they were to the big Wall Street banks, even when those banks failed them.
Michael Lewis, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt (pp. 78-79).
Flash Boys came out the very week I collapsed to the floor and didn’t really get up for another 3 months. Just reading it now, which is absurd.
There’s almost nothing in here I don’t know and haven’t been talking about for 5 years, but my god, what a gifted writer… what an amazing book.
And the difference between 14 minutes of speaking entertainingly on a stage, and reading through 10 hours of Michael Lewis, is roughly analogous to the difference between seeing a spectacular car crash, and seeing a train crash into a mountain, and then realizing you’re on the train.(via slavin)