Dark Pools

  • by Scott Patterson
  • Narrated by Byron Wagner
  • 11 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A news-breaking account of the global stock market's subterranean battles, Dark Pools portrays the rise of the "bots" - artificially intelligent systems that execute trades in milliseconds and use the cover of darkness to out-maneuver the humans who've created them.
In the beginning was Josh Levine, an idealistic programming genius who dreamed of wresting control of the market from the big exchanges that, again and again, gave the giant institutions an advantage over the little guy. Levine created a computerized trading hub named Island where small traders swapped stocks, and over time his invention morphed into a global electronic stock market that sent trillions in capital through a vast jungle of fiber-optic cables.
By then, the market that Levine had sought to fix had turned upside down, birthing secretive exchanges called dark pools and a new species of trading machines that could think and that seemed, ominously, to be slipping the control of their human masters.
Dark Pools is the fascinating story of how global markets have been hijacked by trading robots - many so self-directed that humans can't predict what they'll do next.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Definitive history on Electronic Trading

The author covers the material so well that even for those who aren't interested in the development of electronic trading will find the story an exciting read. He puts the context around the development and has written the definitive history on the subject.

I'm a big fan of "The Singularity is Near" by Ray Kurzweil and I thought a lot of his telling of the story was influenced by Ray Kurzweil's thinking on AI and such. Near the very end of the book the author brings up Kurzweil and his thinking. He really didn't fit into the story's arc, but I took it as an ode to Kurzweil.

I warn you. The book will give you a queasy feeling in your stomach because he documents so thoroughly how the HST (high speed traders) are systematically taking money away from us because there is not a level playing field for small players like us who invest through our mutual funds or individual stocks and ETFs.
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- Gary "l'enfer c'est les autres"

A bit superficial, and possibly misleading

What did you like best about Dark Pools? What did you like least?

I enjoyed listening to the a history of some of the electronic exchanges & learning about the personalities involved.

Would you recommend Dark Pools to your friends? Why or why not?

Maybe. I don't have a background in finance or trading, so it's hard for me to verify some of the author's claims. However, I do know software - and in those sections at least it became clear the author does not have the level of understanding he thinks he does.

What does Byron Wagner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His Hungarian accent stood out, and not in a bad way. I think the reader did a perfectly fine job.

Could you see Dark Pools being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Not really, no.

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- Jesse

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-12-2012
  • Publisher: Random House Audio