1) I enjoy Michael Lewis’ work a lot. Liar’s Poker and The Big Short are two exciting and fascinating books to read about modern finance. “Exciting” isn’t a word used too often with financial journalism, but Lewis manages to make these topics read like novels.
2) I forgot to mention the SEC in the podcast. This latest scandal will have many crying “we need more government regulation!!!” Well, where was the SEC? Not just that, where were the other 110 entities that are assigned to regulate the financial markets? You’ll feel like a fool when you read about the SEC in Lewis’ latest book. As usual, gov’t isn’t the answer, but your teacher will tell you otherwise.
This podcast is about the 5 year lag in between High Frequency Trading being mentioned on a ‘blog’ and the Mainstream catching on to the scam and the fraud. Michael Lewis’ new book, Flash Boys is now out, it is very good, and very late. HFT algorithms have been scamming and skimming for years and Lewis deals with the issue with the same skill has in the past.
The focus of the talk is that the ‘blog’ – zerohedge.blogspot.com – now just zerohedge.com, has been dealing with the topic literally for 5 years. As a high school student, your dinosaur of a teacher keeps telling you that blogs are useless, that they are just regular people who don’t know anything, unlike the ‘experts’ in the Mainstream Media.
Lesson: Analyze the blogs you read carefully, and look for reason and evidence to assign value to the site – NOT the name of the corporation at the top of the page. Here is the page from April 10th, 2009 from ZH that exposed HFT. It has been doing it ever since. It is where I learned of the practice, and I adjusted my investing habits accordingly. It was a blog, and it was so far ahead of the curve it isn’t even funny.