42 pages • 1 hour readMichael Lewis
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Chapter Summaries & Analyses
Chapter 7 introduces Zoran Perkov, who was working at a Wall Street tech help desk on 9/11, during which he steered many people to safety with a particular eye for the elderly and vulnerable. Perkov used his ability to keep cool under pressure to become the runner for Nasdaq’s electronic stock market, where a potential disaster was looming every second of every day. He fixated on mastering complex systems and anticipating every possible danger. This became harder as Nasdaq embraced high frequency trading, which invariably made markets more volatile to the point that Perkov could not predict incoming disasters. Perkov was fired from Nasdaq in 2012 and received an offer to join IEX and run their market. By this point, Wall Street had become far more prone to serious errors which the big firms called “glitches,” opting to blame a technical fault rather than intrinsic flaws within the system itself. This made Perkov very nervous about receiving the blame for anything that went wrong, while receiving none of the credit for what went right since that was a non-event. Katsuyama insisted that they would not hang Perkov out to dry in case of any problems, and so he joined.
By Michael Lewis