September 03, 2014 at 11:43AM
"From the way the engineers described their roles, he could see they had no clue about the injustices of [the financial] system." #readingToday

Schwall's private investigations also revealed to Brad just how little the technical people understood of their role in the financial world. "It's not like you are building a bridge connecting two pieces of land," he said. "You can't see the effects of what you are doing." The openness with which the Credit Suisse technologists described their activities made him aware of a larger, almost charming obliviousness. "I was totally shocked when John started to pull out these résumés," he recalled. "The banks had adopted a policy of saying as little as possible about what they were actually doing. They'd fire people for being quoted in the newspaper, but in their LinkedIn pages those same people said whatever they wanted." From the way the engineers described their roles in the new financial system, he could see that they had no clue about the injustices of that system. "It told me that these tech guys were completely oblivious to what they were working on," he said. "They were tying these things they were working on— helping the bank to make markets in their dark pools; building automated systems for the bank to use with its customers— in a way you never would if you understood what the banks were doing. It's like saying on your LinkedIn profile, 'I have all the skills of a robber and I know this one house intimately.' "

Flash Boys, Michael Lewis