I'm curious to know what your opinion on derivatives is based on your understanding of what derivatives are. The term is bandied around quite loosely in the media, meaning there's much confusion about their technical applications and functions, scope, and nature, which is part of why I am asking this question.
Do you associate derivatives with the 2008 crisis? Smoke-filled rooms and Fed conspiracies? Do you reflexively react negatively at their mention? Are they a method to accumulate wealth riskily but quickly? Simply financial instruments of specified conditions which all private individuals involved can benefit from? Perhaps only a single party can benefit, thus representing some form of zero-sum approximation?
If you consider yourself well-versed in economics/finance, I'd appreciate you mentioning that in your post, especially.