Project Pitch

  • I’ve always been interested in crime, and especially criminals who are clever and execute their crimes. The motivations of those crimes committed is also very interesting to me. After talking with my teacher I decided that Flash Boys by Michael Lewis would be perfect for me to do my project on. This book focuses on white collar crime, which was coined in 1939 by Edwin Sutherland, is a financially motivated nonviolent crime committed by business professionals. This type of wall street crime affects anyone who has any connection with the market, most people, which is one reason why I’m interested to learn about it. Also, I want to understand better the affects of this crime because I have learned more about violent crimes in the past, so white collar crime is new to me and interesting to learn about.
  • The issue I’m reading about is that the U.S stock market has been rigged for the benefit of the insiders, and the markets have also become more controlled by the big Wall Street Banks and the exposure of how the profits are made in the stock market. One thing that is interesting about this topic is that it hasn’t been very well known of, and Flash Boys sheds light and exposes the immorality and crime, which is something very few people have done before. I can’t provide that much information here because I’ve done very limited research on the topic and theres not a lot out there on the topic, I hope to learn more as I read the book.
  • I think the potential arguments to be made in response to the issue will vary, but overall focus on how to fix the problem as well as the problem of punishing the criminals fairly. I think some arguments will be made that the stock market should go back to how it was in the past, with people instead of computers and slower times. Another issue is how well connected the criminals are and how to handle their punishments and how to handle corrupt employees in the future. It could be suggested that tests and inspectors could come and watch randomly, but that runs into the problem of those inspectors being corrupt as well. I’ve read a few articles that said that what they’re doing is legal, so I am not completely sure and I will have a better opinion of the potential arguments when I understand the concept more.
  • Because the lack of the knowledge about wall street being rigged, and the lack of  other books, articles, and videos, finding outside resources about this issue is going to be challenging for me. One thing I plan to do is outside research on how wall street works and understand the system so I can better understand the corruption in that system. I would also like to explore the affects of this crime on society as a whole in America, and the effects on an average citizen. More specifically, I am going to explore Michael Lewis’s other writings about wall street. I will watch the documentary Inside Job, as well as the movies Company Men and Margin Call which will show the culture of wall street. I will read Andrew Ross Sorkin, NY Times financial columnists articles to better understand the topic.
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