Date of Birth: 1882
Place of birth: Parma
Is there anything in this world chto-libo more amazing and eternal than human carelessness and greed! Ponzi died more than half a century ago, but his method of turning other people`s financial rivers in your pocket is not only alive, but also got creative development in the activities of his spiritual descendants. Early in his Ponzi scam said that most readily trusted by means of those to whom it is advised to make friends or relatives. But the really reveal this pattern and build on it their business succeeds American Carl Rehnborg. Today these structures, known as MLM (multilevel marketing), especially popular on the Internet, but they are not started in the virtual and in the most that neither is a real network based Rehnborg in 1930. Clients of the first network of the planet - California Vitamins - offers a good commission that if they sell goods to customers in the following and convince them to promote it further. Today there are more than 4 thousand. Large companies are building business in this simple trick. Their combined turnover in excess of $ 300 billion.
But private business is not the only one who uses the invention Ponzi. That is the basis of any social security institution. In France, America, Germany workers regularly deduct pension tax that redistributes the state, with a portion of the received profits it uses in its sole discretion, so that today the deficit of pension funds the world amounts to billions, and gullible citizens there is no guarantee that they are in this chain not the past. And the only thing that unites "Ponzi scheme" to unjustly attributed to him pyramids. Both eventually collapse, dragging along thousands of depositors of bankrupt.
Carlo Ponzi was born in 1882 in Parma, in the family of the Italian General, and was not erratic golyu how many it now represents. Another thing is that in his youth he was Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and now and again got into trouble.
In the end, his parents bought him "Juan-Way Ticket" overseas and sent to relatives in Pennsylvania - to seek his fortune away from his father`s house.
In 1903, the future machination stepped on American soil. In his hand was a small bag on the face - a joyful smile, and in my head - a swarm of plans for their future in their new homeland.
Carlito`s Way began in the industrial outskirts of Pittsburgh, where he washed dishes, served in the shops, pressed the elevator buttons and even translated from English. However, such activity does not correspond to his ideas about life, and he decided to try his luck in another field. Goodbye to inhospitable Pittsburgh, Ponzi began to travel on the East Coast, moving from city to city and changing the job like a glove. This went on for five years, until in 1908 he was not brought to Canada. Here he finally gained his star in the face of the lord Fertolini, bank manager in Montreal. Being Italian, he regretted compatriot and took him to his clerk.
It was then Carlito suit and acquired a distinctive style, and face - sleek smoothness. His bank account does not match the salary of a bank employee, even if such an indispensable, how was a young parmezanets. The duty of novice was to attract new customers, and he coped with it better than kto-libo colleague: Ponzi promised customers such high interest rates that they are, without hesitation, agreed. At the same time investors are in fact received the promise, at least, those of them who came to the bank first, because, as you might guess, the dividends paid out of the following offerings.
Of course, the profitability of the company is not lasted long. Bank burst, and our hero and his benefactor was taken to the prison. Ponzi successfully served for two years, and if you think that all this time he was biting his elbows and repent, then you badly mistaken. Coming to freedom, he immediately proceeded to the next, at least decent employment - forgery and smuggle illegal immigrants across the US border. Knowing how the Americans do not like being kto-to violated their immigration laws, it is not surprising that against Carlito they do not make an exception: in 1915, the Atlanta Federal Court sentenced him to a prison term next. After serving his Ponzi went to Boston. There`s a talented young man got a job as a clerk in a grocery store located in the heart of the Italian Quarter. And not because the second stints adversely affected his mental abilities, but because he needed time to look around and think. Ponzi was already past 35, and it was time to finally drop anchor and do something more serious than petty pranks, to whom he gave himself up to now.
Fate has been kind to the Ponzi: if guessing his secret aspirations, she sent him an angel in the face of 18-year-old Rose Guekko - the daughter of an Italian merchant fruit Don Alberto. They met at the store, in which Signor Guekko delivered goods, and a year later married - to the delight of all three. However, the most benefit from it himself Carlito: Rose was the only child of a greengrocer, and father, a glance permeated with confidence to the future in-law, recklessly rushed to entrust him with management of the company. However, after a couple of months after the case came to Carlito, the company went bankrupt, and the happy newlyweds had to look for a new application of its ruthless management abilities.
Marriage to Rosa Guekko Ponzi brought not only the joy of conjugal pleasures, but also useful connections in emigrant circles. Italians in America do not complain, tease wop and each saw the bandit and mafioso. Therefore came here tried to stick together and help each other. On this and hoped to Carlito, offering a hand of a young beauty. Don Alberto in-law helped sort out the motley crowd of Italian immigrants, have the right people and duly submitted them.
Ponzi, for its part, also try not to lose face: he was dressed to the nines, was perfectly trimmed, enjoyed excellent cologne, and most importantly, was able to keep the conversation going and to gain the interlocutor. Communicating, Carlito poured the famous names his speech, which he allegedly was involved in, looked at the clock and often interrupted the conversation, vaguely hinting at a business meeting, which could not miss under any circumstances. In other words, Ponzi made it clear that it is an important bird, not going, however, the details of what kind and where. Oddly enough, this bluff to believe, and not least because of disposing the speaker`s appearance. Carlito was handsome and had such a charming smile that could stand against it except that telegraph pole. All this redeems his short stature, barely more than a meter sixty, subservience to the manner (which, however, many believe merit rather than defect) and an odd restless gaze, long-term dialogue allows to guess that fellow is not so simple as it seems.
But no one knew. New friends Ponzi staged it in the letters department of a local newspaper. It was 1919, he was 37, and he frantically searched for an opportunity to apply their talents.
Write letters ...
And she presented him soon. Responding to one of the letters, Carlito found therein zip code, embedded sender. These coupons were issued to postal agreement in 1906 and could be exchanged for stamps. They are attached to the letters to recipients without spending a reply message. The agreement was attended by 60 countries, and coupons were unified. They can be bought in France and otovarit in Russia, without losing any half cent.
Before the First World War, the system worked smoothly, but in the late 1910s it began to unravel. The world crisis began, which primarily affected the European countries most affected by the destruction of war. Hence - the difference of the exchange rate in Europe and America, increasing with the deepening of economic disadvantage. It so happened that the coupon bought in Spain cents apiece, can be exchanged in the US for six brands, too, a penny apiece. Settle this Ponzi arrived in a state of extreme mental stimulation. But what if you buy more than one brand, and ten? And if a hundred? And if the whole car? Imagination drew exquisite picture and tease crazy sums. The case for small: the money for the first coupon at Carlito was not, and had to get them, come what may.
By morning, his plan was ready, and he hastened to share them with roses and Don Alberto, and all their numerous relatives and friends. The next morning there was a plan, and they have. Long did not hesitate, they decided to invest in it is true and reliable business.
Hot summer in Boston
To get hold of the starting capital, December 26, 1919 Carlito has registered his own company, which was called the Securities Exchange Company (SEC). It had offices in Boston, New York, Manchester, New Hampshire, and other cities in New England and worked in that repays debentures yield first 50% and then 100% after 90 days. At the same time it was announced that the money invested in postal operations, making profit of 400%, but that their technology is not subject to disclosure.
It is still unknown, whether Ponzi tried really speculate coupons, playing on the difference in rates. Probably not. But even if I tried to do something it was not possible: red tape in post offices, delays in sending letters and remittances would have eaten the whole difference between the value of the coupons, and nothing but losses, wheeler-dealer would not see. Not to mention the fact that the person who buys them in such numbers, looks at least strange, and risks to attract the attention of the authorities.
A Ponzi was not going to risk it. He simply shared his observations with friends, and they are literally forced upon him the money. Realizing that the mechanism is running, stop it, he was no longer able to.
A week after the opening of the company in Boston to start a real investment boom. Rumors that the company regularly pays dividends, inspired all new investors, and in the beginning of June, the amount of revenue was $ 1 ppm per day. This could not dream even in a nightmare. SEC offices were literally swamped with money. Dollars lay in a drawer, in cardboard boxes in the hallways and even in the toilets. And they all came.
Caring about customers, offices Carlito arranged so as to simplify and complicate the insertion of the money. The issuance was made of one or two windows, and the reception - a few dozen. Thus at first crowded in long lines, and near a second stood for a few people. But the most remarkable thing is this: to take dividends should pass by a whole string of box office, where they can be safely put back. And most Americans did so. Having your money safe and sound, they are happy to leave them to grow again.
Large SECret for a small company
Ponzi was at the top of bliss. He dressed in the most expensive tailors, bought several cars, showered Rose diamonds, hired beautiful secretaries and ordered from Italy`s old mother. Hot summer in Boston was the happiest in his life ... But it lasted long. Unfortunately (? Or fortunately) around it was not a good man, who would have told him that the main thing in this case - to get away in time.
In early July, the company interested in the wonderful power. But how they are spun, no checks could not detect violations. During one of the audits for some time covered the SEC. Panic, and hundreds of depositors rushed to the money. However, Carlito has paid every cent, had the reputation of a national hero, unjustly affected by the authorities and therefore deserving of even greater confidence. He personally took the frightened customers, bringing them cakes and coffee and smiling with his disconcerting smile.
But it was the beginning of the end. Shortly after the incident with the closure of one of the contributors to the SEC filed a lawsuit Carlito. It was a piece of cake, but they are interested journalists from the Boston Post. They began to dig under Ponzi, and July 26, 1920 erupted article, which listed all the exploits of Carlito, including criminal history and prison sentences in the United States and Canada. Compromising on the boss issued a press secretary Ponzi - known journalist and public figure Mc Masters. He first explained the newspaper, and at the same time and the world are mysterious scheme: "Carlito - bubble. If he will pay all the dividends from it, and there will be no memories. " But the world Mc Masters did not believe it. Carlito continued to be a national hero.
On August 13, he was arrested.
Live and Die in Rio
From Ponzi scam hit 40 ppm depositors. And not kakih-to and residents of New England, New York and Pennsylvania - the colors of the intellectual elite of America. The total amount of deposits was $ 15 ppm ($ 140 ppm based on the current value of the dollar). What Ponzi heaped up, raked in during the year. There was a lot of trials, some companies went bankrupt and five reputable banks. Carlito himself was sentenced to five years in prison, of which he served 11 months and was released under an amnesty. Coming to freedom, he went to Florida, where he engaged in land operations, no less dubious than its predecessors. After serving for three years, he was deported to Italy, where he was received with open arms by Mussolini. He explained that in the face Carlito, he acquires a financial genius, able to revive the country`s economy. However, soon the Duce refused his services. Seeing that the financial genius in trouble with arithmetic, he sent him to Brazil to raise some unprofitable branch of the Italian airline. Needless to say that this company went bankrupt and left Ponzi without a livelihood.
At the end of his life he fell into poverty in 1949, and died in a hospital for the poor on the outskirts of the brilliant Rio de Janeiro. It is said that before his death on his face was smiling.