Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ponzi schemes

The big news story today is,
Madoff Is Guilty in Ponzi Scheme; Ordered to Jail

Bernard Madoff was jailed after admitting he masterminded the largest Ponzi scheme in history, an epic swindle that may have reached $65 billion and made him the symbol of investor distrust in a global recession.

Madoff, 70, entered his guilty plea in Manhattan federal court three months after confessing to relatives that his firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, was “one big lie.” U.S. District Judge Denny Chin ordered that Madoff, who has been free on $10 million bond, should be jailed while awaiting sentencing, scheduled for June 16. He faces as much as 150 years in prison.

“I never invested the funds in securities as promised,” Madoff told Chin at a hearing today in a courtroom packed with victims and members of the media. He said he was “deeply sorry” and knew what he did was criminal.

Madoff told Chin that in the early 1990s, when the U.S. was in a recession, he felt “compelled’” to provide the returns he promised investors. He said when the Securities and Exchange Commission asked about it, he lied to the SEC.

Madoff’s guilty plea -- he repeated the word 11 times this morning -- marks the downfall of a once-acclaimed money manager who told the world his fortune came through an eponymous firm that specialized in making markets, trading securities and advising wealthy clients.

You can read the rest of the stroy at this link: Ponzi

Ok, so he is guilty of running a ponzi scheme. What does that mean? What exactly is a ponzi scheme?

If you have questions we have answers.

"Ponzi" Schemes
Ponzi schemes are a type of illegal pyramid scheme named for Charles Ponzi, who duped thousands of New England residents into investing in a postage stamp speculation scheme back in the 1920s. Ponzi thought he could take advantage of differences between U.S. and foreign currencies used to buy and sell international mail coupons. Ponzi told investors that he could provide a 40% return in just 90 days compared with 5% for bank savings accounts. Ponzi was deluged with funds from investors, taking in $1 million during one three-hour period—and this was 1921! Though a few early investors were paid off to make the scheme look legitimate, an investigation found that Ponzi had only purchased about $30 worth of the international mail coupons.

Decades later, the Ponzi scheme continues to work on the "rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul" principle, as money from new investors is used to pay off earlier investors until the whole scheme collapses.

Source: Ponzi

Ponzi Scheme

A fraudulent investing scam that promises high rates of return at little risk to investors. The scheme generates returns for older investors by acquiring new investors. This scam actually yields the promised returns to earlier investors, as long as there are more new investors.

Investopedia explains Ponzi Scheme...
The Ponzi scam is named after Charles Ponzi, a clerk in Boston who first orchestrated such a scheme in 1919.

A Ponzi scheme is similar to a pyramid scheme in that both are based on using new investors' funds to pay the earlier backers. One difference between the two schemes is that the Ponzi mastermind gathers all relevant funds from new investors and then distributes them. Pyramid schemes, on the other hand, allow each investor to directly benefit depending on how many new investors are recruited. In this case, the person on the top of the pyramid does not at any point have access to all the money in the system.

For both schemes, however, eventually there isn't enough money to go around and the schemes unravel.

Source: Ponzi

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 11:55 AM   1 comments links to this post


At 5:50 AM, Blogger Raju Kumar said...

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