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Too funny to be true

http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/Northeast/03/31/odd.scammer.reut/index.html

This has to be an april fool's day story, but if true is pretty funny.  Hint: it involves nigerian spam.

name withheld out of cowardice
Thursday, April 01, 2004

That's a true story.  I saw it several days ago.  How can a harvard prof fall for that, I'll never know.


Thursday, April 01, 2004

Worst punishment is that he'll probably be deported back to China (seeing that he's a China resident)

Mr. Analogy
Thursday, April 01, 2004

So did he scam his friends in order to raise money to send to the Nigerian or did that happen coincidentally?

name withheld out of cowardice
Thursday, April 01, 2004

You've heard of the pyramid scheme, well this is a new twist, the pyramid scam.  This is how it works:

1. You scam five friends.
2. Then they scam five friends.
3. And then they scam five friends.
4. and so on.

Ken Klose
Thursday, April 01, 2004

But then, the stock exchange as it currenty works (ie. you're not forced to hold on to your shares for years, unlike savings plans) is pretty much a pyramid scheme :-)

Fred
Thursday, April 01, 2004

I don't see how not having to hold on to a stock for a number of years makes it a pyramid scheme.  After all, you don't have to hold on to a bond, you could sell to someone else who'd love to take over collecting the interest and principal payments for you.

The weird thing is with stocks that aren't paying dividends 'yet'.  What good is a peice of paper that doesn't promise or have any history in you getting a dime from it, and why would anyone else want to buy that from you?  Too often, even if the company gets bought, they just give you their stock in exchange for the stock you have.  I don't see where the value in stock comes from.  The joy of haveing .000001% of a vote in some board room hundreds of miles away?

Stock should at least be convertable into salad cream.

Keith Wright
Thursday, April 01, 2004

>> I don't see how not having to hold on to a stock for a number of years makes it a pyramid scheme

Because the vast majority of the activity at the stock exchange today has nothing to do with helping to finance companies (as an alernative to self-financing, or loans from a bank), and everything to do with simple speculation. Nobody cares about a company per se, and earnings when they keep stock for a mere days or weeks.

On the other hand, if, like savings plans, people buying stock had to commit to them for years, things would change. And clearly for the better, I think.

>> The weird thing is with stocks that aren't paying dividends 'yet'

Right, but it's the same thing at the casino. This is a bet, a game. No risk, no gain.

>> I don't see where the value in stock comes from. 

Just speculation.

>> Stock should at least be convertable into salad cream

Alternatively, they can be used as toilet paper. Considering the number of dotcoms that failed, Kleenex should be worried ;-)

Fred
Thursday, April 01, 2004

At least nobody forces you to invest in stocks.  Social Security - now there's a pyramid scheme.

Brian
Thursday, April 01, 2004

Enron, 401K, pension funds. Now, that's some pyramid scheme ;-)

Fred
Thursday, April 01, 2004

It is a shame they don't go into more detail..like how do they know for sure he really gave the money to Nigerian scam artists? Did they find a paper trail? Or are they taking his word for it?

Maybe he wired the money to an offshore numbered bank account of his own so it'll be sitting there waiting for him when he gets out of jail?

Considering that even my grandmother knows the story behind the Nigerian email scams, I find it hard to believe this really went down the way it is reported...

Mr Fancypants
Thursday, April 01, 2004

Social Security is the biggest Ponzi scam. Ever!

Now that it is tumbling, they are blaming it on an aging population, instead of just admitting that it is a Ponzi scheme and scrapping it.

Tapiwa
Friday, April 02, 2004

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