Crapshoot Investing: How Tech-Savvy Traders and Clueless Regulators Turned the Stock Market into a Casino

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9780132599689: Crapshoot Investing: How Tech-Savvy Traders and Clueless Regulators Turned the Stock Market into a Casino

In just the past few years, the equity markets have been transformed into a high-speed casino that’s a pure crapshoot: a white-knuckle rollercoaster ride that has left individual investors legitimately terrified of equities. The Flash Crash of May 6, 2010–when the DJIA plummeted 734 points in 17 minutes, and dozens of top companies traded as low as zero–was just a harbinger of disasters to come. In Crap Shoot Investing, Barron’s Washington Editor Jim McTague reveals the twin causes of this massive transformation: high-frequency traders using mathematical hocus pocus, and blundering regulators whose attempts to promote long-term investment have massively backfired. McTague takes you through the Flash Crash moment by moment, revealing what happened and how it happened. Next, he burrows “under the volcano” to uncover the titanic, uncontrolled forces now at work in equity markets, showing investors exactly what they’re jumping into when they buy and sell stock today. You’ll learn how new exchanges, desperate for cash, are attracting high-frequency traders at everyone else’s expense… how “dark pools” of hidden trades are tilting the playing field…how even small investors are promoting dangerous volatility. McTague explains why regulators continue to ignore the big picture as the markets accelerate towards chaos. Last but not least, he presents a rational strategy for investors who need to get ahead in markets that have become riskier than most casinos.

 

"A valuable read for anyone considering investing in equity markets."

Reprinted with permission from CHOICE http://www.cro2.org, copyright by the American Library Association.

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From the Back Cover:

“The government’s master planners have done it again! Usurping the role of ‘invisible hand,’ they have inadvertently destabilized the stock market and frightened off long-term investors. McTague sardonically chronicles how this happened and the new dangers the meddling has created for the investing public.”

Larry Kudlow, Host, The Kudlow Report, CNBC

 

“Jim McTague is the best, because he refuses to report like the rest. He was the first to report in the dot-com boom that earnings should matter, and in the real estate boom, that simple math matters. Some might call that being the skunk at the picnic. Pity we don’t have more skunks.”

Neil Cavuto, Host, Your World with Neil Cavuto, Fox News Channel

 

“Jim McTague presents a ferocious verdict on the state of the markets after the Flash Crash of 2010. It takes a strong mind to read the anecdotes and reporting in Crapshoot Investing and not break down laughing. Cash under the mattress or in a coffee can? Far more secure than the ticker tape.”

John Batchelor, Host, The John Batchelor Show, WABC Radio Network

 

“This fascinating and compelling book is a must-read for anyone that invests in the stock market. Jim McTague pulls no punches in telling the alarming story of how these markets have been transformed into risky casinos. If you plan to be one of the winners, this is a book for you.”

James R. Barth, Lowder Eminent Scholar in Finance, Auburn University

 

“This book is like a fast, furious, and sometimes airborne motorcycle ride. It hurtles along, avoiding the obstacles that lie in the path of investors, devilishly constructed by Wall Street and haplessly beyond the ken of the regulators. It is not a book that makes you feel good about your 401K, but you will laugh aloud often.

Llewellyn King, Host, White House Chronicle, PBS

 

“McTague’s book is an indispensible read for everyone interested in the problems and benefits of replacing human traders with algorithmic machines in one of the most important markets in the world. The equity markets play a central role in the allocation of scarce resources to many of the most productive enterprises that provide jobs for workers, and goods and services for consumers. Short-term retail investors should also consider Jim McTague’s advice: ‘It has become a shark tank and we are the anchovies.’”

Robert Auerbach, Professor of Public Affairs, The Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin

 

The equity markets are now nothing more than high-speed casinos: white-knuckle rollercoaster rides that have left individual investors legitimately terrified of equities. The Flash Crash of May 6, 2010—when the DJIA plummeted 734 points in 17 minutes and dozens of top companies traded as low as zero—was just a harbinger of even greater disasters.

 

In Crapshoot Investing, Jim McTague, Barron’s Washington Editor, reveals the twin causes of this massive transformation: high-frequency traders using mathematical hocus pocus and blundering regulators whose new rules have massively backfired.

 

McTague takes you through the Flash Crash moment by moment, revealing what happened and how it happened. Next, he burrows “under the volcano” to uncover the titanic, uncontrolled forces at work in equity markets, showing you exactly what you’re up against when you trade stock. Last but not least, he presents a rational strategy for investors who need to get ahead in markets that have become riskier than most casinos!

  • Bi-polar markets: from mania to depression in an instant
    The massive new forces pumping new volatility into the markets
  • How markets are selling unfair advantages—at your expense
    How some traders buy privileged access—and tilt the markets against you
  • The new SEC rules that helped destroy the markets
    …and what must be done to fix them
  • How to invest successfully in a shark-infested market
    A disciplined new approach to long-term investing: today’s only route to success

About the Author:

Jim McTague has been Washington Editor of Barron’s Magazine since 1994–a post that gives him privileged access to key players throughout Washington and Wall Street. A credentialed White House and Capitol Hill correspondent, he’s covered every administration since the first President Bush. He has appeared on NBC, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, FOX, and is a frequent guest on FOX Business News. McTague’s extensive analysis of the underground economy in 2005 exploded the myth that illegal aliens were a small percentage of the U.S. population, triggering today’s border security debate.

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