Robert Samuelson, a relative nonentity who writes for the WaPo, must've called a friend and asked for a quick explanation of banker pay packages. His column is nuts and mostly backwards. It was in the olden days of staid bankers and brokerage houses that the main business and the salutary economic effect of what was not yet called "the finance industry" was the allocation of capital to actual industry. This remains the persistent defense of our bankmasters, but today's instatrade investment culture is not at all about moving capital into new industrial concerns; it's about hedging gazillions of tiny bets and pooling the hay-pennies per trade into massive amounts of wealth. It is parasitic and bubble-drive, purely speculative, and if you think that major banks still exist to finance the nation's industrial infrastructure, you'd do well to ask yourself which banks were solvent and able to lend ready-cash to, say, our automotive giants when they faltered.