Ok I would exclude Goldman and maybe Morgan Stanley from this, but seriously, what happened with BSC, LEH, MER? As far as I can tell, they went long a load of high yield paper, short a load of premium, levered 2500%, then held on and prayed it would come back. In what way are they any different to the "bucket shops" of this or Livermore's era? I'll tell you - the bucket shops at least managed their risk. Think about this - spread betters like IG Index, City Index, and FinSpreads outlived 3/5ths of Wall Street. They survived this market and the I-banks didn't. Oanda and FXCM outlived BSC, LEH, and Merrill Lynch. The perception all these years was that Wall Street was the blue chip, Ivy league province of superstars, and that the spread betters and forex brokers were unscrupulous bucket shops run by amateurs, crooks, and pikers. Yet it turns out that they managed their risk whilst Wall Street didn't. Rather ironic, wouldn't you say?