Is the Stock Market and most of the Financial Services industry just gambling?

In Britain, the 1774 'Insurable Interest Act' separated the insurance industry from the gambling industry. This stops you taking out insurance on someone you don't know; i.e. gambling on their life.

The Stock Market was intended to be a market for genuine investment in industry (investing in the prospects of a company). Modern developments in such devices as CDO's (Collateralised Debt Obligations) seem to make financial services seem indistinguishable from the gambling industry. At risk are real peoples' mortgages, savings and pensions.

What do you think? Is it time to separate investment from gambling?

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