Nigerian Explains Subprime Scam to U.S.

Given some of their nationals’ fondness for financial scams, there is something blackly comedic — and possibly even downright appropriate — about a letter from someone in Nigeria to the New York Times purporting to explain the U.S.’s subprime/credit issues. Then again, there is no denying that some Nigerians have demonstrated a real competency in this general area.

To the editor:

This financial monster is not the fault of Wall Street, or of some shadowy conspiracy created in basements and back rooms. It should have been fully expected from the time the deficits-don’t-matter attitude took hold in Washington.

The only reason the monster didn’t arrive sooner is that the Federal Reserve was able to manage interest rates, thereby keeping American households spending and borrowing. This, however, only delayed it, as the dollar so diminished the relative size of the American economy that global corporations no longer needed to cater to the American consumer.

Why are we now standing by idly as the government spends billions upon billions of dollars it does not have, trying to further delay the inevitable crisis? Why pass the crisis onto our children and grandchildren? Daniel Mueller

Lagos, Nigeria, March 24

Or, at the very least, why not send a fraction of that subprime bailout money to a confidante of the widow of the late General Sanni Abacha of Nigeria, who died and now his $80-million is with her, but … well, you know the rest.

And just because it reminded me of it, here is a great video of Ze Frank performing a Nigerian email at TED a few years ago. Yes, performing a scam email. It’s good.


  1. Nigerian email scammers wish they had 1/100th the scamming skills of Bush, Greenspan, Prince, and the rest of the DC-NY crooks.

  2. I don’t understand. Just because the letter to the editor comes from Nigeria, you are reminded of a scam?
    Just because you are Canadian doesn’t mean we all assume that you’re a smart ass. even though you are.

  3. I second Kimbo’s statement. Daniel Mueller is far from an African name….trust me, I’m Nigerian myself.

  4. Paul Kedrosky says:

    Yeesh, when I posted this I knew I was getting going to get grief from literalists. Listen: If you don’t think it’s mildly amusing that the U.S. is getting unsolicited advice about financial scams from someone in a country best known in many quarters as the origin of certain financial scams, then, well, we don’t share a similar sense of humor.

  5. I share your sense of humor…I first received a facsimile from nigeria while in sharjeh, UAE back in 1987…I think I still have a copy somewhere…it’s funny