Just finishing Michael Lewis' Flash Boys, a terrific history of high frequency trading, front-running and markets in general. It reads like a thriller. You'd expect a Wall Street drama to be all about ego, bad guys ripping people off, and money being 'stolen'. Certainly that all plays a role, but it's not central to the story.
One of the best parts is the side story of Serge Aleynikov, one of the few people arrested, tried, and imprisoned after the crash in 2008. What's truly sad is that he had little to no involvement in any of the events leading up to that, nor was he involved in any transaction coding or theft of any kind (though Goldman Sachs and the US Government said otherwise). It's a sad state of affairs when someone capable of 'fixing' the problems that lead to flash crashes and other tech-driven market impairments is listed as a 'bad guy'.
At any rate, he lost his money, his family, his reputation - but eventually won his case and was freed. He has a great quote:
“If the incarceration experience doesn’t break your spirit, it changes you in a way that you lose many fears. You begin to realize that your life is not ruled by your ego and ambition and that it can end at any time. So why worry? You learn that just like on the street, there is life in prison, and random people get there based on the jeopardy of the system. The prisons are filled by people who crossed the law, as well as by those who were incidentally and circumstantially picked and crushed by somebody else’s agenda. On the other hand, as a vivid benefit, you become very much independent of material property and learn to appreciate very simple pleasures in life such as the sunlight and morning breeze.”~Serge Aleynikov