The House always wins. From David Stockman at davidstockmanscontracorner via lewrockwell.com:
Central banks have not merely inflated the bejesus out of assets prices. They have also caused the very foundations of financial markets to metastasize, yielding an endless array of new products that have no real economic function except to facilitate new forms of pure wagering.
Foremost among these are exchange traded funds (ETFs). If you are inclined to give the latter the benefit of the doubt, you might well ask why the world was so benighted as recently as 2003 that only $204 billion of these swell financial instruments existed – a figure which is just 2.6% of the $7.74 trillion currently outstanding.
That is to say, if ETFs were the spawn of free markets and actually facilitated honest price discovery in primary and secondary capital markets, they would have been invented and institutionalized long ago; and upwards of 80% of outstandings would most certainly not have materialized just during the past eight years.
Total Assets Of Outstanding ETFs, 2003-2020