big money is made in the fluctuations of the bubbles. Some bubbles are small and some are large. Big money can manipulate the bubbles to their benefit and the loss of the fools that think they might get rich (or even make an honest gain).
The fools believe the propaganda that they are "investing" in the economy or in a company. That is a bald faced lie. If I buy General Motors stock today, the company will not see a dime of that money. They wont use my money to help their company. I am essentially laying my money down as a bet that the price will go up. It is like going to the window at the horse races and saying give me $1,000 on GM. I take my ticket and watch the "race" hoping to cash in with GM in the lead.
Company executives have learned that they can make more money by manipulating their companies stock price and cashing in.
Alan Greenspan, who is so out of touch with reality that he was shocked when he learned that company executives would put their personal gain ahead of the health of their company. Idiot.
The Stock Market is one way to transfer the wealth in retirement funds from the 99.99% into the pockets of the 0.01%.