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Ponzi: The Incredible True Story of the King of Financial Cons
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Ponzi: The Incredible True Story of the King of Financial Cons

An intrepid attempt at presenting the life of the man whose machinations gave rise to the term “ponzi scheme.” Taking advantage of the economic chaos engendered by the First World War and the opportunity for financial speculation arising from passage of ill-considered treaties creating international reply postal coupons, a diminutive ne’er-do-well Italian immigrant single-handedly engineers an investment bubble that threatens to bring down the entire banking industry of New England. Ignoring his fleecing of the common investor, the authorities decide to prosecute only when their own interests are threatened.

Rendered in semi-fictional format with extensive reconstructed dialogue and colorful characterization, this book avoids technical analysis, description, and academic narrative. The result is highly entertaining, though perhaps less than reliable from the standpoint of historical authenticity. A fun romp that leaves the reader sympathetic to the ever-smiling and forever-optimistic “Charlie,” who, though clever—even a genius in his own way—was out of his depths in the financial circles he invaded, and defended to the end of his life his erstwhile success and the honesty of his intentions. —SiriusReviews.com.

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