More Good News: A Bear Market for Ponzis

Among the more amusing perverse bits of information I have run across recently is this one: The collapse of ponzi schemes is running at an unprecedented rate in the current downturn. In other words, whatever you might say about other untoward conseequences this crisis has had, it has had one salutary effect: It has had made it awfully hard for Ponzi schemes to stay in business.

The FBI … has almost 500 open Ponzi investigations nationwide — up from about 300 in 2006, bureau officials said. Law enforcement officials with other agencies have noticed similar trends, and authorities said they expect to turn up many more cases in coming months.

"We have more open Ponzi scheme cases than at any time in FBI history," said Special Agent David G. Nanz, chief of the FBI’s economic crimes unit. "We anticipated a spike, but the numbers we are seeing are even greater than expected. . . . There is an old saying, though: ‘When the tide goes out, you can see who isn’t wearing a bathing suit.’ And that definitely applies to Ponzi" operators.

More here.