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Michael Lewis Blows The Lid Off Goldman's Morgan Stanley Intelligence Operation

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On those exceedingly rare occasions when their hated, ancient rivals at Morgan Stanley got one over on them, Goldman Sachs just made a few (probably insincere) phone calls asking select MSers if they might like to join the anointed, after a short conversation about what they'd been up to lately, of course.

Goldman’s senior executives had a more pressing question in mind for Messrs. Morgan and Levine: “Why was Morgan Stanley growing so fast? Their rival’s market share was booming, while Goldman’s was stagnant.”

Messrs. Morgan and Levine said they sought answers by doing “what everyone on Wall Street did when they wanted to find out what was going on inside a rival bank: They invited some of its employees in for job interviews.”

What they learned, according to Mr. Lewis, was that Morgan Stanley was trading 300 million shares a day through a trading platform called Speedway….

A person familiar with Morgan Stanley’s stock-trading businesses said Speedway is used primarily by investors, who base their stock picks on sophisticated computer models, and isn’t a vehicle for high-frequency traders.

Michael Lewis Book Touches on the Old Goldman-Morgan Stanley Rivalry [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]


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