Anyone with a brain on Wall Street takes positions where there is a very, very good chance that their leveraged bet is hedged so that the downside of a loss is eliminated. That is - at least until an AIG blows up and the rules have to be changed by fellow former partners in government.
So really bright people make money making mostly safe bets fully protected by their friends in so called public service.
Read "The Partnership" to get a great inside view. It is there in black and white with all the Goldman partners admitting it. They avoid taking risks at all costs.
So the traditional excuse that Wall Street is good for the country because it creates liquidity by taking risks is just wrong. What happens is that incredibly bright people find slight flaws in our financial system to make huge money using leverage and even brighter minds to set up these predatory systems for them. This is wrong. It is worse that the vice of gambling because so much more is wasted.
Addicted, low intelligence losers gamble obsessively in casinos to mask the pain of their childhoods. The problem with Wall Street is that really smart people who could help us all are wasting their lives.
So it actually is worse than out and out gambling which is terrible for a society and is rightfully heavily taxed.
So, yes, Congress should take 90% of the profits of these so called Wall Street traders who do nothing for our country. NOTHING. In fact most of them hide their profits in something they call "off shore."
Let's hope it drives smart people away from useless lives and encourages them to make goods that are truly useful. Taxes for people who are managing people well to make useful things should be 10% They make the USA a better place. Let's celebrate them.
Congress is getting it right. Hope they can stick with it.
Good for them.