Ponzi's Scheme

By Mitchell Zuckoff,

Book cover of Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend

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2 authors picked Ponzi's Scheme as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Before Ponzi was a scheme, Ponzi was a man. His name was Charles Ponzi. He sailed to the US from Europe with nothing – after gambling away his nest egg during the trans-Atlantic crossing – and then made himself an ill-gotten fortune through a swindle so famous it is now named for him. I love learning history, but not through academic texts. I need to learn it through stories. And the critical ingredient that makes compelling narrative nonfiction are the details that enable me to see the characters and their world in my mind. Zuckoff’s book put me in Boston…

In 1920 Italian immigrant Charles Ponzi tapped into the era’s unmatched appetite for greed. The Boston-based swindler and con artist created a pyramid scheme that in a little over a year allowed him to live the high life while fleecing his money-hungry investors of more than $20 million – over $250 million in 2021 dollars.

From Glenn's list on the Roaring Twenties.

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