Thursday, January 8, 2009
And history repeats itself
Seeing the article below got me to thinking about times long ago that my grandma told me about. She was on this earth as a little girl just after Lincoln was president. She told us about her first recollection of a swindle. A man in the small town she lived in had sold a gold brick. I don't recall all of the details but people back then took crime very seriously and I sure the guy got a nice long sentence breaking rocks. So we jump forward to today and what do we have? Ponzi schemes poping up all over the place.
$50 million Ponzi scheme
For those of you who are too young to remember or haven't been watching the news lately a Ponzi scheme is an investment swindle in which some early investors are paid off with money put up by later ones in order to encourage more and bigger risks.
I'm also starting to see a lot of other less than ethical deals being promoted. I forget which comsumer guy coined the phrase " Tip off to a rip off" but I'd like to shake his hand. What to look out for in promotions, infomercials and ads? The ad says invest in gold or silver coins. And somewhere near the end of the ad the voice over states that these are genuine "gold clad" coins from some mint. So if you calculate the amount od gold in the coin it isn't worth even the face value. These are just reproductions of coins that were produced in the 1800s. They will never gain in value and they aren't worth the price not to forget (shipping and handling).
Then there's the real estate late night shitty touped huckster. Yes you too can become a millionaire in real estate just by buying my course. So what's the deal you're thinking? You the buyer need a good chunk of change up front to do any type of real estate transaction. Because if your dealing with forclosures you'd want to have an attorney to cover your butt and attorneys don't come cheap. And don't forget the filing fees, taxes and inspection costs. You don't expect the homeowner is going to flip for those costs when he's broke did you?
Then of course there's the auctions. I browsed a couple of those just for laughs. A closer inspection of the properties revealed that they were in wonderful places like right next to the landfill or ever so close to the chemical factory. I wonder if they still have any of that land they used to test A bombs in the 50s left?
Update: Cheney: Nobody saw this economic crisis coming.
Bah ha ha ha ha ha ha
Hmmm: Note the date on this post?