4. The Biggest Ponzi Scheme in History: The Myth of Quantitative Easing

In 1920 the Boston Post contacted Clarence Barron, the founder of Barron’s, to investigate a man who claimed to be racking up remarkable gains for investors in an arbitrage involving the purchase of postal reply coupons in one country and their redemption in another. Charles Ponzi, the developer of the scheme, sought to convince investors that differentials in inflation rates between countries had created an opportunity for investors to purchase the postal reply coupons on the cheap in one country—particularly Italy, and redeem them in another—chiefly the United States, an arbitrage that Ponzi said would enable investors to grow their money by several fold if they invested ...

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