An excellent read:
As the value of securities became more closely tied to the subjective and compromised opinions of analysts and rating agencies, Wall Street banks become more closely aligned to the world of art than the notion of commerce described by Adam Smith or Milton Friedman. It is a system too easily manipulated for the benefit of insiders ....
The job of a derivatives trader is like that of a bookie once removed, taking bets on people making bets.
- Linda Davies
The Virtual World of Derivatives: The Art of Gaming the U.S. Financial System