Russia's "Bernie Madoff" has been pulling a multi-billion dollar scam for decades, and his victims love him


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/08/31/russias-bernie-madoff-ha.html


#2

He literally called his financial advice radio show “The Pyramid”? A little on the nose don’t you think?

Also, that 230 million user figure is bullshit.


#3

So a $4700 investment will bring me $19 million after one month? But I only want $1 million-- how about I give you the $1 in bitcoin, and you give me $1 million in US dollars, and you keep the rest? Pretty good deal for you right?


#4

Apparently in Albania people knew that pyramid schemes didn’t work, but they thought that the government were all invested in them too and would bail them out when they collapsed. I suspect that many Russians thought the same.

Madoff on the other hand seemed to work on in-group; such intelligent people, who belonged to the same synagogue/golf club/country club were Madoff investors. Perhaps he had discovered an ingenious scam - but then better to get on the bandwagon while it’s still good!

There are different reasons why people delude themselves. One of my in-laws was almost persuaded to invest money in a property development scheme which offered high rates of returns. The people in charge were solicitors [transactional lawyers] and chartered surveyors. What could possibly go wrong? I told him a couple of my father’s horror stories about crooked lawyers.
The scheme collapsed when the apparently respectable professionals went to prison for fraud.


#5

Calculator of happiness? Didn’t anybody tell this guy money can’t buy happiness? How happy does President Trump look?


#6

The Elvis suit / Pee Wee Herman Bowtie fashion mash-up is nothing short of genius.


#7

If you’re going to go, go big!


#8

It’s not just Nigeria. MMM has been operational in South Africa for years, at large scale – and has even drawn a warning from the local communist party.


#9

If I recall correctly MMM’s ads were among of the first ads to run on Russian TV. In contrast to slick productions for consumer products they made it into something like a mini-series featuring the lovable everyman, Mr. Golubkov. A dude you could relate to. Apparently hugely successful.


#10

Hmm… the concept of stokvel sounds a bit weird?


#11

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