Mitchell Zuckoff is a professor of journalism at Boston University. His books include Lost in Shangri-La and 13 Hours... (wikipedia)
We've suffered a 'Ponzification' of the economy in recent years, as bubbles have built up and then burst, and each time we act as though it's the first time.
Every swindle is driven by a desire for easy money; it's the one thing the swindler and the swindled have in common.
When running a Ponzi scheme, how does one avoid enormous, unexpected withdrawals - runs on the bank, so to speak - that would pull back the curtain and reveal a little man blowing smoke? One way would be to attract a core of investors who could be counted on to never withdraw more than a small percentage of principal each year.
Sending a book out into the world is a lot like sending your child to the first day of kindergarten. You hope the other kids play nice and that she makes friends.
I was researching a different World War II story when I came across an article in the 'Chicago Tribune' from June 1945 that knocked me for a loop. The article explained that a military plane had crashed in an impossibly remote valley of New Guinea that had been nicknamed Shangri-La.
For starters, let's dispense with the cheap jokes about cannibalism. That means cracks about giving an arm and a leg - sorry - for a good book on the subject, or similar tasteless - sorry, again - attempts to make the subject more palatable - last one.
No Ponzi schemer tells anyone exactly how it works. The purpose of a Ponzi scheme is to trick people, to take the money and run.
I know that plenty of folks have issues with Social Security, but I'd urge them to confront it on its own terms. Calling it a Ponzi scheme is misleading and does more to cloud the issue than it does to illuminate it. And yes, I do know that unless changes are made, the current system is unsustainable. But that doesn't mean it's fraud.
Nathaniel Philbrick's 'In the Heart of the Sea' has rightfully taken its place as a classic for its literary merits. It has a special place in the cannibalism canon as well.
Bob Altman got nothing from the TV series 'M*A*S*H,' and the royalties for the theme song went to his oldest son, Michael, who wrote it as a 15-year-old poet!