Celebrating the Ponzi Scheme?

Ponzi schemes have certainly held a prominent position in the news cycle over the past week. That said, perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that one of the most heavily visited posts on the site over that same time period centered on such scams. What is a bit more puzzling to me is the fact that 'Should Ponzi Schemes Be Legal' is the most heavily visited post we have ever written.

I am really at a loss to explain why this might be. While the post is over a year old at this point, giving it plenty of time to garner hits, I have been posting here since late 2009. Many other posts have been in the public domain for much longer. In addition, I have posted on topics here, including the solar REIT concept, that are difficult to find elsewhere. It would be natural for people to come here to find information on such concepts were they so inclined. In contrast, there are many places where interested parties could find information on Ponzi schemes, including much more informative sites than Blawgconomics.

I have to conclude then that it is the topic itself, the question of whether or not these schemes should be legal, that has garnered attention. I am not sure what inferences to draw from this conclusion. If it is indeed correct, it would seem to be true that there is some kind of grass roots support for legalizing Ponzi schemes in some way. This support would be truly underground, as the legalization of Ponzi schemes is not something that is discussed in any newspapers or financial press that I have encountered.

Perhaps, then, it is the rising segment of the population which identifies with libertarianism which would exhibit support for legalization. Ironic in some ways, as the legalization of Ponzi schemes would almost certainly involve heavy regulation under either securities laws, pension laws, insurance rules or a combination of the three. However, there would still be an element of choice involved, and maybe this is what appeals to the libertarian in some people.

On the other hand maybe that is completely wrong. Maybe it is merely the criminal element of the nation who have stumbled upon a piece inspired by a classmate's description of what a Ponzi scheme is. I can't think so however, unless they are concerned that legalization could cut into their profits and are therefore reading up on the latest and greatest on the political front. I don't personally buy that, but I suppose stranger things have happened.

I guess I will have to admit that I am stumped and leave it at that. Perhaps the popularity of the Ponzi post will remain as much a mystery as how people think they can get away with perpetrating these schemes in this day and age...


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