William Collins has snapped up an investigation into the 2010 “flash crash” which promises to lay bare “the lunacy at the heart of the finance industry”.
Editorial director Tom Killingbeck bought UK and Commonwealth rights to Flash Crash by Bloomberg journalist Liam Vaughan from Richard Pike at C+W at auction. The book will be published in the UK in May 2020. Yaniv Soha at Doubleday in New York bought US rights in a pre-emptive bid. Translation rights have also been sold in Poland, Russia, China and Japan and the book has been optioned by an undisclosed film company.
The book chronicles the rise and fall of British futures trader Navinder Singh Sarao who made $70million from his bedroom before being blamed by US Government for the 2010 “flash crash”, which saw the US stock exchange plunge by 9% in minutes.
The synopsis explains: “Award-winning investigative reporter Vaughan, described by the New Yorker’s Sheelah Kolhatkar as ‘the U.K.’s pre-eminent chronicler of financial crime,’ charts Sarao’s remarkable journey from Hounslow schoolboy to highly successful futures trader to the unwitting target of a sprawling global investigation into market manipulation. Sarao, a trading savant, amassed a fortune from his childhood bedroom by playing the markets like a computer game. But in April 2015 he was arrested by the US Department of Justice and blamed for helping cause the infamous 2010 “Flash Crash,” when markets around the world crashed without warning, exposing the shaky foundations propping up the modern financial system.”
Killingbeck said: "This is a riotously entertaining story that lays bare the lunacy at the heart of the finance industry. Centred around a trading savant who made millions from his parent’s bedroom, Flash Crash is a madcap tale of filmic proportions, and it’s all astonishingly true. This book will make essential reading for anyone who loved John Carreyrou’s Bad Blood or Michael Lewis’s Flash Boys, and announces Liam as one of the UK’s best writers on financial crime."
Vaughan added: “Nav Sarao is the most compelling, unusual character I’ve come across in all my years covering the markets; his story is almost too bizarre and too epic to believe. I’m determined to do it justice and it’s been brilliant working with Tom at William Collins and Yaniv at Doubleday to make it happen.”