The current Wall St. imbroglio ought to & does, indeed. gave everyone pause re: finance, but does it have any greater implications? What about the obsessive manipulation of arcane sources of derived value as an obsessive human intellectual trait?
My brilliant 2nd-wife (Carolin Combs, who died on 26 JAN 07) & I used to joke about the astrological derivate pars Arabica (taking a part of a part of a part), but derivates are merely an expression of the obsessive human mind going about its habit of dividing & revaluing, from which come categorical jesuitry & obvious fiscal tactical benefits.
Is that all about to dry up pronto? I rather doubt it, but it's now under a sudden spotlight with the promise of 'stricter' regulation.
The pars capitalista is being forced to justify itself to itself by itself. Of course, it can, with so much investment in it by financiers, who don't intend to voluntarily reduce their jobs to nil addendum.They must believe they are a value-adding profession to justify its spectacular salaries. Mere clerks they ain't; just ask'em! (e.g. Talk to Chuck - Schwab.)
But what happens when fractionated value implodes uncontrollably? What's left to reform/regulate? Will we ever get to reforming the micro-financial lobe of the greater human brain? Do think. I just have & so has everybody else, so why shouldn't you? You're on.
Meanwhile, your quasi-relaxing assignment is to read Mark Twain's shortish-fictions: "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" (1865), "The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg" (1899) & "The Mysterious Stranger." (1890-posthumous) Report due: ASAP.