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As I remarked during my debate with Michael Lewis on Bloomberg TV last week, I hold a dim view of his latest work, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt; to me it is fiction masquerading as journalistic exposé.

In his Orwellian narrative, the small, entrepreneurial firms that upended the status quo on Wall Street by using computers to automate the jobs of inefficient fat-cat market insiders are the bad guys, and incredibly, the fat cats themselves are the good guys. Yes, that’s correct, the upstarts who leveled the playing field and who made stock trading far cheaper for investors big and small — these are the villains; and the disgruntled guys who used to feed at the trough of the two-tiered market are the heroes. In the greatest of absurdities, Goldman Sachs is one of the protagonist-victims of Michael Lewis’s novel.

His nostalgia for the heady days of Liar’s Poker has clearly messed with Lewis’s ability to see things clearly, and has exposed him as nothing more than a cheerleader for Wall Street who clearly misses the fun and glory of the trading floor during its years of excess when he was a trainee at Salomon Brothers. There is, in fact, very little that he gets right in this novel. (See also “ Ringside at the Michael Lewis High-Frequency-Trading Big Top.”)

The most annoying and harmful message in Lewis’s fictional account of the markets is that they are somehow “rigged.” As evidence for this, conspiracy theorists have lately pointed their collective whistles and blown them at the fact that the large high frequency trading firm Virtu Financial disclosed in a regulatory filing that it has operated for multiple years with only a single losing day. This is taken to mean that HFT firms are not committing capital or taking risk. Instead, they are “skimming” risklessly off of every transaction like parasitic leeches.

To the people who make these bombastic claims, it is impossible to reconcile the fact that a very stable business can be built even though risk is taken on every single transaction. Allow me to explain. My firm is a mid-sized HFT firm that regularly trades over 1 percent of the daily market volume of the U.S. equity market. Our winning percentage, on a per-trade basis, is in the low 50s — in other words, barely better than a coin flip. That means we lose money on nearly half our trades. Does this sound like risk is being taken? We sure think it does!