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Our Global Ponzi Economy

Our Global Ponzi Scheme

October 31, 2012

Our mismanaged world economy today has many of the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme takes payments from a broad base of investors and uses these to pay off returns. It creates the illusion that it is providing a highly attractive rate of return on investment as a result of savvy investment decisions when in fact these irresistibly high earnings are in part the result of consuming the asset base itself. A Ponzi scheme investment fund can last only as long as the flow of new investments is sufficient to sustain the high rates of return paid out to previous investors. When this is no longer possible, the scheme collapses-just as Bernard Madoff’s $65-billion investment fund did in December 2008.

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From Energy: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth

Edited by Tom Butler, Daniel Lerch and George Wuerthner