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American Greed on CNBC
Old 08-08-2010, 06:55 AM   #1
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American Greed on CNBC

Anybody else watch this program ?

I am simply amazed at how supposedly smart people are duped out of their hard earned money and savings by promises of excessive returns on their investments.

Greed has to be one of the major obstacles to FIRE for some people.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:02 AM   #2
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Didn't watch the show, but it doesn't surprise me. It seems to me that Greed and its evil cousin Fear are responsible for most of our financial missteps.
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:39 AM   #3
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I watch this show often. Some of the segments are based on fraud (i.e. ID theft, mortgage fraud), as the victims (individuals or banks) did not do anything to try to get excessive returns, just sell their house or make a loan.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:50 AM   #4
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The program last night was about some offshore bank in Granada offering CDs paying a 250% annual return. They had a fancy brochure and said funds were insured by the IDIC (International Deposit Insurance Corp) of which there is none. Basically it was nothing more than a big Ponzi scheme that sucked a lot of so called smart people in for thousands of dollars.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:56 AM   #5
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The program last night was about some offshore bank in Granada offering CDs paying a 250% annual return.
Sold - let me in.
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:11 AM   #6
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Can you watch it anywhere online?
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:23 AM   #7
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The program last night was about some offshore bank in Granada offering CDs paying a 250% annual return.
That isn't greed - that is stupidity, or maybe just ignorance.

Wait - are you talking about the greed of the people seeking these returns, or the greed of the people offering the scam? I see them both as 'greedy'. You can't cheat an honest man?

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Greed has to be one of the major obstacles to FIRE for some people.
And maybe the major pathway also? I wonder if the scammers will retire early (maybe to a prison)?

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Old 08-08-2010, 11:48 AM   #8
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See case 2,
Conned in the Caribbean


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Old 08-08-2010, 07:29 PM   #9
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I watch it pretty often. I try to take careful notes as I plot how to make my next fortune. Ponzi scheme seem so old fashion that I am looking for a more 21st century scam.
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:32 PM   #10
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I find offering to manage my coworkers retirement and taxable investment accounts for a small portion of there assets is a pretty good return for me. I get my money now and they are stuck with my bad investment choices until they decide otherwise.

Actually they keep asking me if I would manage their accounts and I tell them my plans are working for me but may not work for you and to due their own due diligence.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:51 PM   #11
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I watch it pretty often. I try to take careful notes as I plot how to make my next fortune. Ponzi scheme seem so old fashion that I am looking for a more 21st century scam.
No need to spend too much time on devising your scam. Ponzi's scheme has stood the test of time - it certainly worked for Madoff.

My favorite investment scam of all time goes back to the South Sea Bubble when a group of "creative" individuals raised money:
For carrying on an undertaking of great advantage; but nobody to know what it is.


And people actually put money into it: History House: The South Sea Bubble



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Old 08-09-2010, 05:55 AM   #12
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No need to spend too much time on devising your scam. Ponzi's scheme has stood the test of time - it certainly worked for Madoff.

My favorite investment scam of all time goes back to the South Sea Bubble when a group of "creative" individuals raised money:
For carrying on an undertaking of great advantage; but nobody to know what it is.


And people actually put money into it: History House: The South Sea Bubble



And, yet, somehow we never get any smarter.

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Old 08-09-2010, 08:21 AM   #13
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I recall contemplating some Iceland CD's.
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:47 AM   #14
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It's a really good program! I have been amazed how many of the scams are have a religious front or tap into religious organizations to find their victims. These, also, are usually offering unreasonable returns.

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Old 08-09-2010, 09:38 AM   #15
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Answered my own question

http://www.hulu.com/search?query=American+Greed&st=0
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:15 PM   #16
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One thing that they all share is an overtone of
- too good to be true
- you are privileged to be offered this
- act now

I think it all started with the sale of swampland in southern Florida in the 60s. Then it branched out into timeshares.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:39 PM   #17
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One thing that they all share is an overtone of
- too good to be true
- you are privileged to be offered this
- act now

I think it all started with the sale of swampland in southern Florida in the 60s. Then it branched out into timeshares.
Three red flags that people just love to bite on, over and over and over again.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:48 PM   #18
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I have this show set on my DVR....some interesting stories, makes you wonder how dumb some people really are though.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:40 AM   #19
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Had a talk with friends about this show recently. General consensus was that if we were to pull a scam, that the easiest to be duped tended to be church congregations. No judgement on religious folk in particular, but somehow attaching your scam to religion allows it to "fly under the radar" in a lot of cases. As evidenced by the show, investors just seem less likely to examine it closely.
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Old 08-22-2010, 03:56 AM   #20
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Had a talk with friends about this show recently. General consensus was that if we were to pull a scam, that the easiest to be duped tended to be church congregations. No judgement on religious folk in particular, but somehow attaching your scam to religion allows it to "fly under the radar" in a lot of cases. As evidenced by the show, investors just seem less likely to examine it closely.
I don't think this is surprising at all.

A member of a religious congregation is pretty much by definition demonstrating, in public, that they believe in something which sounds amazing, promises an extraordinary reward, and for which no concrete, first-hand, would-hold-up-in-a-court-of-law, physical evidence is available. (I'm trying not be disrespectful here; my BiL who is very mainstream religious tells me that he is happy to accept the above definition, but it may not be to everyone's taste.)

If I were going to scam people, those folks would be first on my target list.
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