The problem with the focus on speculators, as was demonstrated during the financial crisis, is that it tends to divert attention from the real villains. During the financial crisis, the villains were the actions of the banks, not the speculators betting on bank share prices.
I found that options traders - the Amex was mainly an options exchange - routinely conspired to keep as wide as possible the spreads between the prices investors paid and the prices floor traders paid for the same securities.
Excessive hype, bankruptcy, cash burning like autumn leaves - such is the stuff of short-selling.
The flip side of humiliation is pride.
Humiliating events have a way of capturing the public's imagination. So it has been since antiquity, when gladiators were pitted against each other and the legions of Spartacus were crucified in endless rows on the way to Rome.
No other facet of American business is more corrupt, more intoxicated with illegality, more weakly regulated, and has a greater impact on poor and working people than debt collectors; not credit card companies or subprime mortgages, not even payday lenders.
Numerous academic studies have shown that amateur investors make poor traders - buying stocks for the wrong reasons, holding losers for too long, and acting on whims and emotions.
MF Global used to be known as Man Financial, and it had a reasonably good reputation. It did a humdrum business placing commodities trades for fund managers as well as farmers, grain dealers and others whose livelihoods depend on the vagaries of commodity prices.
Some hedge fund managers have made big bucks trading oil futures - George Soros is one.
With such enormous bucks devoted to trading in oil and other commodities, the distortions that they cause have been exacerbated.