The blue line shows revenue from investment banking and securities activity. This includes securities underwriting, market making, proprietary trading, bond and option dealing, and investment banking advice.
(Read more: Chart of the Day: Is the bubble bursting?)
After the dotcom bubble burst, this line of business saw stunning growth, with revenues doubling from 2002 to 2006. Then you see the stall followed by the crash.
There's a recovery but then a return to decline in 2009. By 2011, the latest year for the data, investment banking revenues were down all the way to where they were in 2003.
The green line tracks revenues for the brokerage business, primarily engaging in buying and selling securities as an agent for investors in exchange for fees. This isn't just stocks but bonds and mutual funds, too.
This actually emerged from the dotcom crash with more revenue than investment banking, but its rise was more muted. Fascinatingly, however, it tracks investment banking very well—albeit at a lower level—all the way through the financial bubble, crisis and recovery.
But for the brokerage business, the recovery has been more sustainable. Instead of declining once again, revenues remained relatively stable.
The come-from-behind winner, however, has been the portfolio management business.
It saw the same stellar growth as investment banking and brokerage beginning in 2003. But it didn't stall in 2006 and its decline was much less severe during the crisis. As of 2011, it was high finance's biggest revenue generator.