CFTC head: 'Rampant Ponzimonium'

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machinehead
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CFTC head: 'Rampant Ponzimonium'

Look at yourself in the mirror -- are you now, or have you ever been, a 'mini-Madoff'? Well, lots of your neighbors are, says Bart Chilton, head of the CFTC:

BOSTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of people in the United States are under
investigation for financial scams, many involving Ponzi schemes, a U.S.
regulator said on Friday, calling the phenomenon "rampant Ponzimonium."

While none are as mammoth as disgraced financier Bernard Madoff's $65
billion fraud, multimillion-dollar "mini Madoffs" are proliferating
from New York to Hawaii, the head of the Commodity Futures Trading
Commission said. So far this year, the agency has uncovered 19 Ponzi schemes, which
depend on an influx of new capital instead of investment profits to pay
existing investors.That compares with just 13 for all of 2008.

"Because of the economy, people are seeking redemptions more than
they
ever have and that's making a lot of these scams go belly up," Bart
Chilton, commissioner of the Washington-based Commodity Futures Trading
Commission, said in a telephone interview. In the last month alone, his
agency has pursued investment fraud in
Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, Iowa, Idaho, Texas and Hawaii.

Chilton called the problem "rampant Ponzimonium" and "Ponzipalooza" --
a play on the word "Lollapalooza," an American music festival featuring
a long list of acts.

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE52J48B20090320

What I love are the actual case studies, the human dramas of greed and deception. Here's one of them:

Many of the financial scams are small but grew fast to support lavish
lifestyles, like the suspected $40 million, five-year Ponzi scheme that
came to light last month when a North Carolina man, Bruce Kramer,
committed suicide.

Claiming he was an expert mathematician, Kramer is accused of
persuading 79 people to invest in what he said was a foreign currency
trading operation, Barki LLC. He promised monthly returns of at least 3
percent to 4 percent, the CFTC said.

Instead, he funneled money into a Maserati sports car, a $1 million
horse farm and artwork while holding "extravagant" parties, according
to a CFTC complaint released on Wednesday.

As the economy soured, Kramer struggled to find new clients to keep the
scheme going. In the days before his suicide, his investors demanded
their money back and grew suspicious when they couldn't access their
own funds, said Chilton.

Bart, Bart. Let me clue you in to the biggest operator of all -- the
one who makes Bernie hisself look like a 'mini-Madoff.' I'm
talkin' about a guy operating out of a white marble building at 20th
and Constitution in our nation's capital, who styles himself as
'Banknote Ben,' claiming that he can 'print money.' His resume is
almost a carbon copy of Bruce Kramer's:

Claiming he was an 'expert mathematician' with degrees from Harvard, Stanford and Princeton, Bernanke is accused of
persuading 79 million people to invest in what he said was a bond
trading operation, FOMC-Banki Panki LLC. He promised monthly returns of at least 3
percent to 4 percent, the CFTC said.

Instead, he funneled money into a fleet of black Sikorsky
helicopters, a basement full of sleek Morgenthaler high-speed printing
presses, and staff of hundreds of PhD Econs which he claimed was the
'world's premier econoimic research institute,' according
to a CFTC complaint released on Wednesday.

As the economy soured, Bernanke struggled to find new clients to
keep the
scheme going. In the days before his suicide, his investors demanded
their money back and grew suspicious when they couldn't redeem their
'Federal Reserve Notes' for anything but newly-printed, identical
notes, said Chilton.

ah ha ha ha

AH HA HA HA

AH HA HA HA

Money mouthGIVE ME SPECIE, OR GIVE ME DEATH Money mouth

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