Ponzi's Scheme

Ponzi's Scheme

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Youa€™ve heard of the scheme. Now comes the man behind it. In Mitchell Zuckoff's exhilarating book, the first nonfiction account of Charles Ponzi, we meet the charismatic rogue who launched the most famous and extraordinary scam in the annals of American finance. It was a time when anything seemed possiblea€“instant wealth, glittering fame, fabulous luxurya€“and for a run of magical weeks in the spring and summer of 1920, Charles Ponzi made it all come true. Promising to double investorsa€™ money in three months, the dapper, charming Ponzi raised the a€œrob Peter to pay Paula€ scam to an art form and raked in millions at his office in downtown Boston. Ponzia€™s Scheme is the amazing true story of the irresistible scoundrel who launched the most successful scheme of financial alchemy in modern historya€“and uttered the first roar of the Roaring Twenties. Ponzi may have been a charlatan, but he was also a wonderfully likable man. His intentions were noble, his manners impeccable, his sales pitch enchanting. Born to a genteel Italian family, he immigrated to the United States with big dreams but no money. Only after he became hopelessly enamored of a stenographer named Rose Gnecco and persuaded her to marry him did Ponzi light on the means to make his dreams come true. His true motive was not greed but love. With rich narrative skill, Mitchell Zuckoff conjures up the feverish atmosphere of Boston during the weeks when Ponzia€™s bubble grew bigger and bigger. At the peak of his success, Ponzi was taking in more than $2 million a week. And then his house of cards came crashing downa€“thanks in large part to the relentless investigative reporting of Richard Groziera€™s Boston Post. In Zuckoff's hands, Ponzi is no mere swindler; instead he is appealing and magnetic, a colorful and poignant figure, someone who struggled his whole life to attain great wealth and who sincerely believeda€“to the very enda€“that he could have made good on his investment promises if only hea€™d had enough time. Ponzi is a classic American tale of immigrant life and the dream of success, and the unexpectedly moving story of a man whoa€“for a fleeting, illusory momenta€“attained it all. From the Hardcover edition.Stamps, perhaps. But United States post offices were not in the business of currency exchange using coupons and stamps as mediums. Even if it were possible, it certainly would have caused a stir. Ponzi needed $2, 655 to repay his investorsanbsp;...

Title:Ponzi's Scheme
Author:Mitchell Zuckoff
Publisher:Random House - 2005-03-08


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