It is unlikely that Noam Stern Perry synchronized the purchase of his palatial new five-bedroom at 25 Columbus Circle with the release of Michael Lewis’ book Flash Boys, a blood-boiling account of the rise of high-frequency stock trading excerpted this week in the Times magazine. But his timing couldn’t have been better. (Or worse, depending on how you look at it.) Mr. Perry, who bought the home with Michael Stern Perry, is one of the founders of Final, an Israeli firm specializing in “trading algorithms” and “trade execution technology” designed to maximize returns in the high-frequency sector.
“From the point of view of the most sophisticated traders,” Mr. Lewis writes, “the stock market wasn’t a mechanism for channeling capital to productive enterprise but a puzzle to be solved.”
A puzzle solved, of course, is a penny earned. The price of Mr. Perry’s new pad? A cool $30 million, according to city records.
High-frequency traders rely for their business on fiber-optic cable that snakes underground and burrows through rock, but their profits—at least in this case—yield “helicopter views” of the Park, Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline. The residence sprawls 4,485 square feet. But don’t try to take it all in at once! From an entry gallery, the condo “slowly reveals itself,” teases the listing—held by Daniela Kunen at Douglas Elliman—unfurling like a fine Oriental rug to disclose “elegant” and “luxurious” details.
Designed by Tony Ingrao for the Time Warner Center, the apartment features marble-trimmed floors and upholstered walls. (We’ve heard it said that traders can be a little nuts, but really, padded walls!?!) To our way of thinking, anyway, the entertainment center and wet bar seem like much more sensible accessories for blowing off steam.
A perennial best-seller, Mr. Lewis is sure to inspire a spate of populist rage with his new book’s revelations. Mr. Perry has little cause for concern, though; the public has been given so many causes to anger with the financial sector in recent years that its very capacity to sustain the emotion has been by now considerably reduced. And the Time Warner Center has been home before to at least one character with business practices far more questionable than any high-frequency trader. The much-reviled and disconcertingly wealth-oriented televangelist Creflo Dollar moved out in 2012. The building, in other words, is no stranger to the gospel of prosperity.