Here's an obvious yet somehow counterintuitive thing that I believe: The notion that finance is difficult and complex and obscure is mostly a construction of journalists, not of financiers. Bankers and traders frequently start their sentences with "It's actually pretty simple"; journalists prefer "It's very complicated and hard to understand." I won't belabor the guild reasons that might lead to the latter preference.
But the guild reasons for financiers to prefer simplicity are also pretty obvious. A lot of the work in finance, as in any other industry, is selling things to relative non-experts. When I sold corporate derivatives, I'd deal with corporate CFOs who tended to be smart but who didn't know as much about convertible call spread overlays as I did. And if a CFO came away from our meeting thinking "this is a confusing complicated thing," he wouldn't do it. My job was to make it simple and intuitive, to get him to see the story and the structure hidden beneath surface complexity. People like a simple convincing elegant story. Complexity and obfuscation makes them angry. That anger would be bad for me as a salesman. It has its uses for journalists.
Obviously the simplicity can be deceptive; the clear elegant story can be misdirection from a secret complication. In my world of selling call spread overlays, clients tended to understand the tax benefits really well, and the pricing not so well. But the presentation is never "ooh this is so difficult." It's "this is easy and simple and makes sense."
Inspired by this weekend's Slate Money podcast about John Lanchester's book (which is good - in part because it kind of recognizes this point).