A Ponzi Scheme With Pigeons? Read On…

Very long-form journalism (and very entertaining) from NY Times

See if this whets your appetite:

Galbraith’s reign as Pigeon King lasted seven years, from 2001 to June 2008, when his empire imploded. The prosecution likened his company, Pigeon King International, to a Ponzi scheme — much like Bernard Madoff’s operation, which happened to crumble just months after Galbraith’s, except that where Madoff’s scheme centered on stocks and securities, Galbraith’s used live birds. Pigeon King International sold breeding pairs of pigeons to farmers with a guarantee to buy back their offspring at fixed prices for 10 years.

Ask your students to think about the warning signs that would have given them pause if Mr. Galbraith had come calling on them.


Check out our lesson on Scams, Frauds and Identity Theft