Overview

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:...

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Crapshoot Investing

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Overview

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 cro2.org, copyright by the American Library Association.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132609722
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 3/9/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • File size: 976 KB

Meet 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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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

About the Author viii

Introduction 1

Chapter 1: Strange Encounters 11

Chapter 2: Not Your Grandma’s Market 27

Chapter 3: Screaming Headlines 39

Chapter 4: Accidental Senator 47

Chapter 5: Flash Crash 61

Chapter 6: Shock and Awe 81

Chapter 7: Poster Child 85

Chapter 8: Accident Investigation 91

Chapter 9: The Trouble with Mary–and Gary 97

Chapter 10: The Road to Ruin 105

Chapter 11: Busted! 113

Chapter 12: Precursor 125

Chapter 13: Birth of High-Frequency Trading 135

Chapter 14: Evil Geniuses? 149

Chapter 15: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels 165

Chapter 16: Dark Pools 171

Chapter 17: Volatility Villains 175

Chapter 18: The Investigation 183

Chapter 19: The Vigilantes 193

Chapter 20: The Tide Turns 199

Chapter 21: Letter Bomb 207

Chapter 22: Scapegoat 213

Chapter 23: The Real Culprits 221

Chapter 24: Investing in a Shark-Infested Market 229

Index 237

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