A Bloomberg journalist unfolds the unlikely tale of the disappearance of trillions of dollars in what is now known as the Flash Crash of 2010 and the man who caused it: Navinder Singh Sarao, a working-class man from North London whose trading genius amassed him tens of millions of dollars in profits unbeknownst to even his parents, with whom he lived quietly, working out of his childhood bedroom.
Financial investigative journalist Liam Vaughan seems to have had the time of his life putting together Flash Crash. But then, the story is so rich with characters and so bizarre in its nature, that as he admits at the end—someone had to write a book on it. It is a case of truth stranger than fiction ... The book is fast-paced, extremely engaging, and an easy read, despite the complexity of futures trading. Vaughan has done an excellent job of making it accessible and even exciting. It's a hard one to put down.
It is an extraordinary and rather pathetic story, most of which plays out on the seedy edges of the financial world. In Flash Crash, Liam Vaughan, a journalist with Bloomberg in London, tells it in vivid detail ... Navinder Sarao was no angel. But the real lesson from Mr. Vaughan’s well-reported book is that far too much energy goes into prosecuting such small fry. The real bandits are still out there, cloaked in political cover and respectability yet rigging the markets at scale.
It is a cautionary tale of the fragilities baked into the financial system by layers of complexity and beggar-thy-neighbour profit hunting. It is an engaging history lesson on the evolution of modern trading, the conflicting demands it seeks to serve, and its dislocation from any social purpose. It is an alarming insight into the motivations of prosecutors who are, at times, desperate just to see someone, anyone, pay. And it is a pacy account that swings from humour to horror as it describes a vulnerable man who is out of his depth and failed by the people around him ... Flash Crash captures Sarao’s almost otherworldly oddness without crossing the line into poking fun at him ... Flash Crash is a compelling reminder that such cases could happen again without scrutiny around who gets their hands on markets weaponry.