Derivatives can be seen as a global financial casino at which big banks on Wall Street and the like can make billions if they make the right bets. As in any good casino, they can also make massive losses if they make the wrong bets, but luckily for them, they simply get bailed out by governments (i.e. taxpayers) every time they are in danger of going broke. Due to the outrageous unearned profits that can be made in this casino, the derivatives market has grown grotesquely huge over the last couple of years. Here is a visualization of the American share.