...in the world of finance, of fictitious capital, it is possible to make great profits by buying and selling financial assets. This is an enchanted world, a world of illusion, because here it is possible to make money simply through the manipulation of money. Money, through the payment of interest, seems to accumulate as a natural function of its existence. Money begets money as Nature herself nurtures the growth of plants and animals. How could labour possibly be the source of all profit when clever manipulations and trades by financial operators can result in the accumulation of vast wealth?--Nick Beams
The enchanted world of finance not only engenders illusions in the minds of its inhabitants and those who profit from it, but also in the minds of those who would try and abolish it. From the very earliest days, financial markets have been denounced by those who would like to expunge or at least control them, but without overturning the capitalist economy as a whole.
“Regulate the bad side of capitalism!” is their catch-cry, so that the good—that is, capital in the productive form—might be able to grow and society advance. Insofar as finance capital is necessary, ensure it works for society as a whole! But, as Marx explained more than 150 years ago, such efforts are based on an illusion. The “good” cannot be separated from the “bad” and, in fact, it turns out that the “bad” is often the very driving force of historical development.