Centro Risorse Territoriale di Pesaro e Urbino

Due catene di Sant'Antonio - Two Pyramid Schemes

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Giambattista Giuffre (1901- 1964)

After world war two in the Emilia Romagna and in the Marches Giambattista Giuffre, a rogue banker from Imola , started borrowing money at a 25% interest (every six months). Word got around and people rushed to the banker with all their savings. The operation was in fact a huge pyramid scheme : Giuffre didn't invest the money he received from later depositors but used it to pay off his earlier obligations. All went well as long as more and more people were willing to entrust the banker with their cash, but when the bubble burst in 1958 a lot of later depositors got hurt ( molti risparmiatori rimasero nella bagna ).

Carlo Ponzi (1882-1949)

Carlo Ponzi was born in Parma (Emilia Romagna) in 1882 and emigrated to the United States in 1903. In 1919 he set up a scheme to get rich quick. The Ponzi scheme (or scam)- he doubled his investors' cash in 90 days - was a very successful variation of the time-honored (or dishonored) pyramid scheme. Of course the bubble burst at long last and Ponzi died in a charity ward in Rio de Janeiro, Argentina, in 1949.

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