Ponzi Schemes (was Re: non-censorous spam control)

Anonymous nobody at REPLAY.COM
Mon Aug 4 14:27:57 PDT 1997

Vulis wrote:

>A similar scheme in Russia by an organizaton called "MMM", run 
>by the Mavrodi bothers, left a large number of "investors"
>holding the bag. Interestingly, one of the Mavrodi brothers
>is now in Russian jail (awaiting trial), and the other one is
>still running a pyramid scheme: he accepts "voluntary donations"
>from an investor, in return for a "voluntary donation" at a later
>date whose amount and time are not guaranteed and depend on
>the "donations" collected from others. The Russian government
>does not shut down Mavrodi's latest operation so far, claiming
>it's not "fraud" since he doesn't misrepresent the source of
>his returns nor the risks involved. Reportedly so far he's
>getting oodles of investors and pretty good returns. Eventually
>of course his scheme will collapse, but the "investors" who
>got in and out early enough will have made good money.

Can you say "Wall Street?"  Because that's exactly how it operates right 
now.  The money being thrown at the stock market today is not "investing," 
it's simply a pyramid scheme.

>A similar scheme recently brought down the government of Albania.
>Reportedly the investors who got in late in the game and didn't
>get the returns they expected (or actually lost their investments)
>demanded that the gubmint reimburse them for their losses (by
>taxing the money from the more intelligent Albanians). When
>the idiots want the gubmint to protect them from their own
>idiocy, the gubmint happily uses this excuse to screw not only
>those who would fleece the idiots, but everyone.

This is what happened when the US Savings & Loans Banks in the Southwest 
failed in the 80's.  All of the people who lost money were bailed out by 
the FDIC, which of course is funded by taxpayer money.  The final figure 
was approximately $500 billion, depending on whose estimates you believe.  
So the idiots who didn't do their homework and put money into a bogus S&L 
were bailed out by everyone else who was smart enough to know better.  And, 
of course, the fraudsters (one of whom was the son of then Vice-President 
George Bush) got away with a slap on the wrist.

Go figure.


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