The Dominance of the Financial
Sector has Become a Mortal Danger to our Economic Security
Sector has Become a Mortal Danger
to our Economic Security
By Robert Creamer
Over the last several decades, the financial sector has grown relentlessly. It has doubled in size over the last 14 years. During the period 1973 to 1985 the financial sector never earned more than 16% of domestic profits. This decade, it has averaged 41% of all the profits earned by businesses in the U.S. In 1947 the financial sector represented only 2.5% of our gross domestic product. In 2006 it had risen to 8%. In other words, of every 12.5 dollars earned in the United States, one goes to the financial sector, much of which, let us recall, produces nothing.
That growth has not been among community or regional banks -- or credit unions. I'm talking about Wall Street.
Wall Street's growth is one big reason that most of America's economic growth during the last decade has flowed into the hands of investment bankers, stock traders and partners in firms like Goldman Sachs. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that fully two-thirds of all income gains during the last economic expansion (2002 to 2007) flowed to the top 1% of the population. And that, in turn, is one of the chief reasons why the median income for ordinary Americans actually dropped by $2,197 per year since 2000.(more...)