This sort of outsized profit obtained from gaming the system is a tax on the real economy.
The price distortions they create disrupt legitimate business, and harm the ability of the economy to produce and distribute key resources.
And it is a trade that goes deep and far, with nothing sacred. Witness the havoc that Enron was able to wreak on the energy markets, causing rolling brownouts, while the regulators turn a blind eye.
And as the Chairman of the multinational Nestlé recently observed, access to safe water is 'not a public right.' And the public sources of water should be privatized. And opened up to speculative excess no doubt.
Is it so really hard to understand that widespread corruption and fraud is not productive, and that no amount of austerity or even well-intentioned stimulus given to the corrupt financial system can fix this?
The Banks must be restrained, and the financial system reformed, with balance restored to the economy, before there can be any sustainable recovery.