Bernie Madoff is getting the headlines now but the original scam artist was a short, energetic, well-dressed Italian immigrant named Carlo Ponzi. The awesome biography Ponzi’s Scheme tells the story of how he built a huge fortune by scamming half of early 20th Century Boston. I am half way through the book and loving it. Back in the day, Italians, Irish, and Jews really knew how to hustle! You can buy a copy on Amazon.
With the arrest of Bernard Madoff for defrauding investors of billions of dollars, everyone’s searching for a definition of a Ponzi scheme. Did you know the scam is actually named for a man, Charles Ponzi, who made millions on it back in the 1920’s? A basic definition: An investment scam based on paying early investors with money from later ones, all the while skimming some off for yourself, and eventually everything falls apart.
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