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I wish there was an easier way to post graphics in the discussion groups.  I'm putting this instablog together to illustrate my point. 

A writer today was arguing that financial sector profits are more important than public service jobs to the health of America.  I'd like to point out that finciancial service profits come from INCREASING DEBT of most Americans.  Bank profits and higher debt are linked.  The first chart below shows this most clearly.

Debt is NOT wealth unless the debt is being used as an investment that returns a profit to the borrower.  Taking on debt to buy a new car might increase profit -- and it might not.  To buy a new house?  If one then rents the house or sells the house at a profit.  Taking on debt to buy new clothes?  If the new clothes helps the borrower to get a better-paying job.  To send one's children to college?  If the child gets a good job when they are graduated, which seems less and less likely today.

Bank profits are consumer debts.  Bank profits are also higher fees for services, which is money taken directly out of the consumer's pockets.  Generally speaking, more freedom for banks to do whatever they want is a ticket for them to try to cheat and gouge more money out of the consumer.

Bank profits DO NOT result in higher earnings for the society.

Financial sector profits, built on increasing levels of consumer debt, leads to the garbage dump, in the form of a guaranteed economic depression.  Depressions are caused by excess debt.  Bernanke's taking on more debt to solve the issues of this depression is insane, in fact -- and will result in an even more pronounced CRASH.

The glass is full.  Adding more water to the glass creates a flood.  Emptying out the glass -- getting rid of debt -- requires higher interest rates and confrontation with toxic debts -- repayment or default.  No middle ground.  And no faking or stalling, unless you want to become Japanese.  The stalling tactic won't work because the debts that are preventing new growth from coming up are not being destroyed but are being nursed and hidden.