My first two sources for evaluation start at the beginning of my topic, in fact, at the birth of a common nickname “Ponzi,” or a ponzi scheme. Charles Ponzi, or Carlo Ponci or Charles P. Bianchi was born in 1882 and grew to be the man whose name was associated with fraudulent business schemes. Two sources documenting his life are both a book and a book talk by Mitchell Zuckoff. Ponzi’s Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend. In his book, Mitchell Zuckoff dissects the ‘financial alchemy’ that raked in millions of dollars for Charles Ponzi. His book talk of about an hour in length and allows insight to Zuckoff as he answers questions and discusses not only the blue print and operations of fraudulent transactions on a large scale, but also the fallibility of human nature. Zuckoff’s skills as an orator as well as an author are what helped me select these sources in my initial research. A large part of his book discusses the nature and conscience of Charles Ponzi, and how initially he believed his plan was both legal and possible. He also examines another interesting facet as I explore my topic, which explores the growth of small lies into larger ones in the specific area of finances. In the case of Charles Ponzi, his first lie was a false check. Interestingly enough, he was caught and jailed but still continued concocting schemes later on. This brings me to another facet for exploration: consequences for ‘victimless crimes’ such as fraud, compared to those of a physical theft or break in. Charles Ponzi himself has a draw as quite a unique character, an Italian immigrant who spoke French, English and Italian who charmed his way into a job at a bank and almost fifteen years later was quoted saying he gave “the best show ever staged.”
Zuckoff, Mitchell. Ponzi’s scheme: the true story of a financial legend. New York: Random House, 2005. Print.
TheFilmArchives. “The Ultimate Get-Rich-Quick Scheme: Charles Ponzi & the True Story of a Financial Legend (2005) The Film Archives .” YouTube. YouTube, 14 Jan. 2014. Web. 07 Jan. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4WdLZSo9rU>.