Francis Cianfrocca lays it out bluntly:
2009 was one of the very best years in history for the financial industry, with over $50 billion in profits for the top half-dozen firms alone. Forget for a moment about the fact that this industry was literally saved from death with taxpayer dollars. The real question is, what are they there to do?
The short answer to that question is that the financial industry exists to make capital available, and to allocate it efficiently to productive uses in the real economy.
Instead, what did the financial industry do to make its money? The Wall St. firms ran proprietary trading programs as never before, and they raked in huge fees underwriting issues of debt by the largest corporations, who used the money to improve their balance sheets but not to invest in new productivity.
Read it all.
Yes, finance capitalism deserves blame.