A Ponzi Scheme With Pigeons? Read On…
Very long-form journalism (and very entertaining) from NY Times…
See if this whets your appetite:
Galbraith’s reign as Pigeon King lasted seven years, from 2001 to June 2008, when his empire imploded. The prosecution likened his company, Pigeon King International, to a Ponzi scheme — much like Bernard Madoff’s operation, which happened to crumble just months after Galbraith’s, except that where Madoff’s scheme centered on stocks and securities, Galbraith’s used live birds. Pigeon King International sold breeding pairs of pigeons to farmers with a guarantee to buy back their offspring at fixed prices for 10 years.
Ask your students to think about the warning signs that would have given them pause if Mr. Galbraith had come calling on them.
Check out our lesson on Scams, Frauds and Identity Theft
About the Author
Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.