Daniel was an investment banker who worked for a national bank in their downtown Houston office. One afternoon while waiting for the bus, he ran into Dr. Clark, his finance professor and mentor from college. Having a few extra minutes, they walked down to the Flying Saucer and caught up over a drink. They talked about their families, their hobbies, and their careers. After a while, Daniel said, “You know Dr. Clark, I’m really glad that I ran into you because the guys at work have told me about this great new opportunity and I just can’t keep quiet about it! You see there’s this guy in New York who has made a ton of money off of this investment plan where people send him money and then he waits and sends the money from the next group of investors to the first group of investors. You just keep that pattern up indefinitely and you can’t lose! My kids are going to be able to go to any college they want!”

Dr. Clark was silent. He had a look of shock tinged with horror on his face. After an uncomfortable 20 seconds, he said, “Danny, what’s wrong with you? I talked about this in the first semester you took one of my courses. It’s called a Ponzi scheme. That guy in New York that you heard about? He was sentenced to 150 years in prison! How could you think this was a good idea? You need to stick to what I taught you: sound investment principles. Don’t get fooled by those guys; if they keep up like this, they’ll end up in prison as well.”

Galatians 3.10-14

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  1. Good stuff, Eric. Definitely gave me that “how could you be so stupid?” feeling, followed by the “oh, yeah.” Very effective.

  2. Robert says:

    Au contraire, Ben Bernanke will probably never go to prison.

  3. Eric Priest says:

    Good point Robert, I was hopeful that no one would connect the dots and say, “But that’s exactly how our government is run.”

  4. Robert says:

    Read any Tom Woods? http://www.tomwoods.com

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