There are many topic angles from which to develop a finance research paper. Cultural anthropologists might focus on the role of finance in restructuring the way we live our lives. Economists might focus on the role of finance in causing economic recessions and "bubbles." Political scientists might focus on the role of finance in politics, emphasizing how the finance lobby impacts the creation and implementation of government policies.
Finance and Politics
The size and scope of the financial lobby and its impact on the political structure is worth researching. For example, Goldman Sachs in particular has had a major influence on the American political process for decades. The finance lobby's influence in configuring the massive economic bailouts administered by the U.S., the European Union and China during the recession that began in 2008 is a topic worth researching.
Finance and Economics
Another great topic worth researching is the relationship between finance and economic recessions. The Great Depression of the 1930s is similar to the Great Recession of the early 21st century in that both had to do with malfunctions within the finance industry impacting the broader economy. Where and how finance creates "value" in the economy is another question worth researching. In other words, the finance industry contributes to economic efficiency, but it only indirectly "creates" anything. Is that latter supposition true?
Finance and Society
The role of finance in society, from the standpoint of cultural studies, is also worth researching. For example, Cambridge scholar of geography David Harvey writes that the logic of finance has transformed Western and global society for decades. In other words, whereas people used to be interested in a community and communal values for their own inherent good, people now view everything as an instrumental value for achieving some sort of profit. In a financial world, every decision is about taking intelligent risks in the pursuit of personal profit. A great research paper could research finance from that angle.