Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A fraud disguised as an investment opportunity, in which initial investors and the perpetrators of the fraud are paid out of funds raised from later investors, and the later investors lose all funds invested.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A Ponzi scam.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[After Charles Ponzi, (1882?–1949), Italian-born speculator who organized such a scheme (1919–1920).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Charles Ponzi, who famously conducted a pyramid scheme in North America in the early twentieth century.

Examples

  • A Ponzi scheme is a fraud that entails paying purported returns to existing investors from new investors' funds.

    Hong Kong Raps Citi

  • Mr. Perry is coming under attack for suggesting that not only is Social Security a Ponzi scheme but it is unconstitutional.

    Let's Have a Televised Debate on the Constitution

  • A Ponzi scheme is basically using money from new investors to pay the dividends on money from previous investors and also withdrawals.

    Latest news summary

  • VOGEL: Look, I don't know whether the decision for Governor Perry to come out there with the Ponzi scheme line was tactical or whether it was a real-time moment where he threw it out there and now has to walk it back.

    NPR Topics: News

  • That's because if Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, as Perry suggests, he has to support changing it to a different structure - otherwise Social Security would be illegal.

    KansasCity.com: Front Page

  • Bernard Madoff's investment-advisory firm was a Ponzi scheme.

    WSJ.com: What's News US

  • Perry isn't backing down and sticks by the Ponzi scheme line - which forces Romney to take a more conventional line saying that social security is needed for America's vulnerable.

    The Guardian World News

  • Rick Perry's recent poor debate performance and his comment that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme is causing him some trouble in the crucial swing state of Florida, according to a poll released Thursday by

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • A Ponzi scheme is one in which early investors are paid with the money of new clients.

    latimes.com - News

  • A Ponzi scheme is one in which early investors are paid with the money of new clients.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.