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Ponzi: The Incredible True Story of the King of Financial Cons (Library of Larceny) Paperback – March 23, 2004
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Packed with details and color and yielding a narrative that flows as easily as that of a good pulp novel.” —Chicago Daily News
“Ponzi was superb at his game and following his financial twists and turns is lots of fun.” —San Francisco Examiner
From the Inside Flap
Top Customer Reviews
Charles Ponzi was everything we have heard and more. An Italian immigrant, he bounced around the US and Canada for years, learning the banking industry, running small cons, and doing time in prison. Then he appeared in Boston, married a beautiful young woman, and set up his own shop. He did very well the first 6 months, paying 50% interest each quarter to his initial investors using the new money from the later investors. He even survived the first run on his company, in fact this improved his balance sheet since the redemptions pre-maturity did not pay any interest. Financial analysts were telling the public that this was a house of cards, but people were loyal to the man who paid an order of magnitude more than the local banks. However he could not survive the Boston newspapers reporting that he had been in prison for extended periods on two occasions.
Federal and state prison followed, then deportation to Italy.Read more ›
To recruit investors Ponzi would hire people on a freelance basis, whereby they would earn 10% of new investors money. For example, if they located someone willing to invest $1000 they would earn $100. These recruiters would target both the poor and the wealthy. This caused such a surge in demand that Ponzi could afford paying off old investors with the new money that was constantly pouring in.
Each major city eventually had someone working for him, and eventually there would be thousands of investors lined up, waiting patiently for hours for the privilege of investing.
At one point major banks had to shut down because most account holders were withdrawing all of their funds to invest with Ponzi. Ponzi of course had enough money to rescue some banks from bankruptcy and became a majority shareholder.
These investments were based on a bogus business of buying and selling International Reply Coupons.
This is thrilling to read and at times what happens sounds too unbelievable to be. Other scenes are hilarious as the story moves around from one con to another. My only complaint with this book is that at times the author ?Donald Dunn? dictates what Ponzi is thinking, when there is no actual way for him to know.
This is a great addition to the ?Broadway Books Library of Larceny?. You might also want to read another book in this series titled ?Where?s the Money?, which is the autobiography of Willie Sutton, a famous bank robber.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An interesting story, and this person stamped his name on this form of chicanery. It had been done before but Ponzi did it much bigger, and at least at the start perhaps... Read morePublished on March 14, 2013 by Peter Campbell
This book introduces the reader to the man behind the phrase "Ponzi scheme". The author's attention to detail makes the reader feel like he is really living in the late 1930s and... Read morePublished on June 18, 2010 by Jane Young
An intrepid attempt at presenting the life of the man whose machinations gave rise to the term "ponzi scheme. Read morePublished on December 27, 2009 by Siriusreviews.com
Great story of Charles Ponzi. You really get into his mind and get a feel for what this man was thinking. Read morePublished on December 12, 2009 by Will Mercado