If you are looking for evidence that the stock market is one big casino, note the yo-yo pattern of the markets this week. Up 600 points, down 600, and repeat. If this casino were isolated from the real economy, no one would care, but it is not. To reduce this problem, four European countries have banned negative bets against financial stocks--selling securities that you do not own in hope of buying them back later for less. This is a pure gamble not unlike betting on the horses.
Another casino dealing in petroleum futures accounts for a similar yo-yo pattern in gas prices at the pump. Our lives seem to be at the mercy of gamblers' whims.