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Return of the Ponzi

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Old 15th Apr 2018, 10:26
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by exekcabincrew View Post
I really don't like to read comments such as "Those greedy idiots who invested in this ponzi deserve to lose their money!"

First, most people are financially illiterate, not by their foul. In school we are taught when some battle between King A and King B took place instead of learning stuff actually relevant to life, like investments and finance for ex.

So when people see their friends making money at lightning speeds, they also want in. It's normal behavior. These investors should be seen as victims, not as "someone who deserves it"

This is a pilots forum, I guess most pilots come from backgrounds when they have the chance to get to know the world of investments, so they are more protected from these schemes. I think its reasonable to assume that pilots get more exposure to finance than CC. Many CC never had exposure to investing, so they are way more likely to fall for these claims. On top of that add the environment of Dubai, all the exuberance around you, everyone is rich except you kind of thing, so there is even more temptation to make money fast, no matter how.

Please think about this before saying that someone deserved whatever.

Finance is complex and mysterious for most people, so only harsh enforcement can stop this sort of schemes from happening. Because as many have said, people never learn. They never will, it's in our nature to wish more than we have. But victims of ponzis are not to blame. The lack of enforcement and regulation is.
I am sorry,but I also don't agree with you.When you make high risk investments,you should be comfortable with the idea of losing all your money,that is why its coming with a high profit,like buying shares and so.If you don't know how to do it-stay in the safe zone and don't risk your money.Banks have low deposit interest rates,but up to a certain amount the money is guaranteed.Financial "ignorance"is not an excuse when you risk your hard earned savings in some dodgy schemes.My husband is buying /selling shares and making sometimes little profits.He tried to talk me to doing it -I'm just not comfortable with the idea that I can loose whatever I will invest and have no interest whatsoever.
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Old 15th Apr 2018, 12:03
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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And to top it all off is the fact that many borrowed money, at [email protected] rates, to "invest" in this sh!t.
I recall many a pushy CC advising other CC on how to get the cash to get in to the scheme and get rich quick.
One asked why l was shaking my head when she asked...."what can go wrong?"

halas
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Old 15th Apr 2018, 14:19
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Ignorance+stupidity+greed+naivety = investors in Ponzi schemes.

And it doesn’t matter if they knew it was a Ponzi or not.
They truly deserve to loose their cash
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Old 15th Apr 2018, 16:06
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Ladies and gents, I still have to disagree with you.

Currently I am studying a MSc in Finance and this is why I advocate that investing should be as safe and as transparent as possible, and this should be guaranteed by the authorities.

I am not sure how this scheme was presented to the "investors", but assuming the scheme had at least some sort of credibility, so an office, a web-page, an app, this is enough to fool inexperienced investors to fall for the trap. 20% per month is obviously impossible. But "obvious" for who? For me and for you it is, but for someone with no exposure to investments it's not.

Saying that it's the investors' foul is similar to saying that the girl that got raped is responsible for it because she was wearing a skirt.

Women should not be afraid to walk in skirts and investors shouldn't be afraid to invest because "there are ponzies everywhere." This is one of reasons why you pay taxes, even if indirectly, since there is were no official taxes in the UAE up until recently. For example UK and US markets are well regulated and it's very unlikely you will lose your funds. As far as I know UAE has thinner regulations, so it attracts crooks like these and makes investing riskier. Btw I think its great the guy got 500 years. He should serve every single one of them.

I am not advocating that you shouldn't do any due diligence before you invest. But after a basic search you should be certain that it's extremely unlikely that you will lose your money in financial assets. When you buy a car, you don't just accept what you are presented, you do some due diligence. But you don't have to become an engineer to be able to buy a car that runs, do you? Same should apply to investments. Call/visit their office (they had one), check their licence (they had one), talk to an independent consultant (Here I have to admit that most people probably skipped this part) this should be enough! You don't have to become a professional investor to save for retirement.

To wrap this up, if the investor did the basic due diligence (basic I mean very basic, no knowledge of FX trading, etc) and then got ripped, its not the investors foul. And it pisses me off that crooks like these exist because they take away credibility from the entire financial system and prevent people from investing and increasing their wealth. And as I previously said, I disagree with the mentality of "you got ripped off, it's your foul". No it's not. This has nothing to do with victim's mentality. This is about the regulatory bodies doing their job right and preventing these schemes from damaging people's life and the countries' economies.
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Old 15th Apr 2018, 16:34
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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To wrap this up, if the investor did the basic due diligence (basic I mean very basic, no knowledge of FX trading, etc) and then got ripped, its not the investors foul.
Basic due diligence...20% / month? There you have it, show me anywhere a legitimate return that big. It’s just personal greed and they got caught by it.
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Old 15th Apr 2018, 16:55
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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exekcabincrew

There's only one thing we will agree on here, that the UAE should have tighter regulatory control and should have shut this scheme down much earlier. The rest I disagree with.

Your somewhat confusing example of the skirt is a case in point. But, to keep it simple, let's stick with your analogy. How many images can you see on social media of young women, hopelessly drunk staggering from pub to pub in a busy UK town centre every weekend? Will she be raped? Highly unlikely. Why? Because it's normal. Now, take the same girl, put her in a street in Kabul with her short skirt, high heels and stinking of booze and the outcome will be different. Why?, because it's NOT normal.

No different with investing. You don't need to have a 'privileged' background or be studying a PHD in finance to realise that 10% per month is NOT normal. If I'd discovered a scheme that was making me a 'guaranteed' 10% per month, I would not be telling anyone....other than applying to every single bank to borrow as much money as possible. Did it ever cross the minds of these investors that those running the scheme should be doing that too, rather than extolling the virtues of the scheme for complete strangers to invest in?

Harry
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Old 15th Apr 2018, 16:58
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Wow ExEK, your comparison to rape is quite repulsive. There are dozens of other ways to phrase your example without reaching like that.

Basic due diligence would include a Google search. I did this at the time the whole scheme was starting to be talked about on board. Within two clicks I had the previous scheme/company name and pages a mile long full of people warning they'd been scammed by Tadawul/Exential.

So yeah if people couldn't be bothered to Google at least then they do shoulder some of the responsibility of a bad investment for not taking less than 5 minutes to check.

More responsibility belongs to those who were aware, yet convinced others who may have been wary to join by abusing their power dynamic (more senior crew to juniors, for example)
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Old 15th Apr 2018, 17:43
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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I remember having a young CC on the flightdeck- the Purser (!!) was spruiking this to one and all and she wanted our opinion.

No matter how many times we told her 120%pa was beyond impossible, no matter that we had to explain what a Ponzi scheme WAS, she was just so tempted by the lure of this free money she was obviously going to put her readies in.

If you seek advice, then go with what sounds the nicest, you are responsible when it all goes Tango Uniform.
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Old 15th Apr 2018, 18:08
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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It seems to me that many here are having some sort of pleasure from bashing and criticizing those who got caught up in this. This is just plain incorrect and this is why I wrote my post.

Financial crime may have more impact on peoples' life than say, physical violence, or having something stolen, etc. And it is the job of the authorities to make sure it doesn't happen.

This mentality that everyone must know the hustle before investing/buying something reminds me of my home country. Scam and crime is everywhere and guess what, most people agree that every time someone gets ripped off, he/she should have known the rules and how the hustling works, etc. Seriously? Everyone just agrees that it's ok to rob people basically. To me it is not ok. I think that in a developed society you shouldn't watch over your shoulder every time you want to buy something.

That's why I am firmly against criticizing people like this for something they have limited responsibility for.

For last, I understand the greed argument here, but it is something that always existed and will always exist. It's in our nature. So the best thing to do about it is to accept that it's just part of our behavior and the only way to prevent this behavior to translate into a financial disaster is to have well regulated markets. It's not realistic to expect people to "learn" because they never will. And I would ask you to have more understanding for this fact.
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Old 15th Apr 2018, 18:29
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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ExEK

Your analogy is flawed.

A better one would be if the girl wore the mini skirt to the party, went upstairs and screamed “would someone please do me” as she lay on her back with her legs in the air - and then cried rape.

That’s what expecting 120% pa is -

Due diligence be damned, it was clouded by greed - crying victim afterwards is even more greedy.
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 00:29
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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No one said it's OK to rb people. But a lot are saying that those who fell victim cannot put the blame solely on the scammers.

Whatever their knowledge, part responsibility is theirs simply fir the fact that they made the choice to hand over their money. No one forced them to sign it over.

To me it sounds like you are emotionally (financially?) invested in this or close to someone who was and while that's a shame if you did indeed lose money, it was all over the Internet what this was for years after it started in Dubai. 5 minutes on Google would have prevented a world of pain for a lot of peopLe.

And you don't speak for everyone when you say that "greed is just human nature we all do it". Sorry but I'm not greedy enough to chuck all my money into some investment scheme just because all and sundry at work tell me the returns are great. No mattwr how much profit mo ey would help my life and that of my family. Speak for yourself.
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 00:48
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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ExEK, you talk as if the people who were scammed only had access to one side of the argument. They did not. In my personal experience I know of many people who were told it was illegal, that they would be stealing money from people who joined after them and that one day soon the whole scheme would come crashing down around their ears.

Did they listen? Did they hell! They couldn't sign up fast enough. Their greed and disregard for those that they would try to persuade to sign up after them was too great. And for you to try to portray this as 'normal' behaviour and 'not their fault' is disgraceful and demonstrates a total failure to accept responsibility for 'their' greedy and illegal actions. In the eyes of the law, ignorance is no excuse.

Yes, tighter regulations would be good and the criminals do need to be brought to justice. But so do those who so willingly jumped on what they believed to be the gravy train at their colleagues expense and showed no remorse or conscience at the time but now want everyone to consider them as the victim.

It isn't going to happen. No sympathy whatsoever.

Last edited by BANANASBANANAS; 16th Apr 2018 at 01:09.
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 04:08
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Harry hit the nail on the head.

If it is so good then why are they telling others about it?
Keep it to yourself and pour as much in as you can whilst it lasts.

But some can't be told even the bleeding obvious, when it is laid out right in front of their noses on a silver plate with all the garnishing, that this a steaming pile of 'don't go there!'

A FD colleague told me he got into Exential early, skimmed a lazy US$160,000 and rolled the rest back in to it, as he could afford to lose his original $60k 'investment'.
He encouraged his friends into it which they did. He was telling me it was legit, as it was no different to high risk-high return investments, and he should know, his father was a banker. (?!).

Other FD amigos who invested in F1 and lost everything, to only go straight back to the one who took their money, to hand over yet more cash, to learn how to invest in Forex.

Speaking of Forex and learning. I have close friends who handed over quite a bit of money to "learn" Debenture/Forex/Futures trading.
Good luck to them l thought. However l did think out loud and said if it's so good, why are these 'teachers' not making a load of money by keeping their wisdom to themselves?
To this day it was money down the drain.

There is more than one way to skin a cat.
A fool and his money are soon parted.

halas

Last edited by halas; 16th Apr 2018 at 05:27.
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 11:56
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by nolimitholdem View Post
Oh yeah, cause Bitcoin wasn't a speculative bubble or anything...

(Yes, yes, I know, you bought early and got out at the right time, or you weren't really talking about Bitcoin but other cryptos that are different, and so on. I've heard it all).

Blockchain tech is promising, but cryptocurrencies themselves as anything other than speculation is just as dangerous as these Forex ponzis. Invest in them as you wish but please don't promote them as safer alternatives.

I'm pretty sure the same types who maxed the credit cards and took second mortgages to buy Bitcoin are EXACTLY the same ones who jumped eagerly into the forex scam.
Haha. OMG, I wish I had a dirham every time someone says "bitcoin is a bubble".

Don't cry because you knew about it way back when but didn't buy any.

Got out at the right time? Not a chance of getting out anytime soon, and I don't promote them at all. If someone mentions it to me, then we talk a little. I don't offer any help at all, nor will I. DYOR(do your own research)

If people max out credit cards and take 2nd mortgages to invest in anything, well they are usually beyond help.

The "high and mighty" attitude in this thread against coworkers is disturbing. IF they assumed/knew it was a ponzi and got into it anyway, then absolutely no sympathy.
Bernie Madoff scammed billions, and he did from people a LOT smarter than anyone in this room.
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 12:48
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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So , in summary we always get to the same thing , don't be greedy...

If you want to become rich quickly and take any kind of risk then don't cry or blame others if you loose everything.

End of the story
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 13:04
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pilotguy1222 View Post
Haha. OMG, I wish I had a dirham every time someone says "bitcoin is a bubble".

Don't cry because you knew about it way back when but didn't buy any.

Got out at the right time? Not a chance of getting out anytime soon, and I don't promote them at all. If someone mentions it to me, then we talk a little. I don't offer any help at all, nor will I. DYOR(do your own research)

If people max out credit cards and take 2nd mortgages to invest in anything, well they are usually beyond help.

The "high and mighty" attitude in this thread against coworkers is disturbing. IF they assumed/knew it was a ponzi and got into it anyway, then absolutely no sympathy.
Bernie Madoff scammed billions, and he did from people a LOT smarter than anyone in this room.
Another false analogy - Bernie Madoff averaged 11% pa consistently over 15 years which is actually what brought him to the attention of amongst others - Harry Markopolos.

Harry knew that 11% pa through the ups and downs of market swings was impossible - so he started making noise. You can have an average of that after 15 yrs but with huge swings - Bernie didn’t swing.

I think Warren Buffets average over the course of his life is sub 30% return pa.

Then you have a kid from India selling 120% pa - it’s not a “high & mighty” attitude... it’s FFS get a clue...and if you dont have a clue about anything to do with realistic returns then why are you borrowing money to ‘invest.’

I like many others just stopped listening and advising these unwitting CC who were literally gloating about their “investment”. I had one Argie CSV tell me when i asked him what he did on his time off - tell me that he “traded FX” . Go on says I - and he pulls out his Exential app and shows me how much $ ‘he made’ that day on his three accounts. I tried to explain to him that markets swing and so do returns, but no ‘his’ solid trading with Exential despite swings was exactly 10% to the T every month.

I just stopped asking after that. They refused to take input from silly pilots.

Last edited by fliion; 16th Apr 2018 at 13:20.
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 13:23
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by fliion View Post
Another false analogy - Bernie Madoff averaged 11% pa consistently over 15 years which is actually what brought him to the attention of amongst others - Harry Markopolos.

Harry knew that 11% pa through the ups and downs of market swings was impossible - so he started making noise. You can have an average of that after 15 yrs but with huge swings - Bernie didn’t swing.

I think Warren Buffets average over the course of his life is sub 30% return pa.

Then you have a kid from India selling 120% pa - it’s not a “high & mighty” attitude... it’s FFS get a clue
and that is just it. Some can't "FFS get a clue".

I am very sound when it comes to financial knowledge, but have you talked with some of these people about money before. They have no, NO clue at all. It is shocking to me, but it is fact. I can't even explain the utter lack of understanding at this level.
These are the same people that have never heard of Warren Buffet, let alone Bernie.
I did not know how BM was uncovered as I had no real interest in that story, so thanks for the details there.
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 17:35
  #58 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
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There is nothing like "free lunch" when it comes to money,Dxb is no exception.In the beginning,when they allowed expats to buy properties,some ek colleagues scored well buying and then selling double/tripple.However,I flew with couple of pilots,who lost serious amounts investing in properties to be built and the investor ran away with all the money in Pakistan somewhere...So there is no guarantee when investing,but sometimes the red light is on and the siren is loud.I personally have invested in properties back home without any regrets.However,lost a serious amount of money when a very close relative duped me.So,money comes and money goes,but the most important thing is you and your close ones are healthy.Thats what matters.

Last edited by nunka; 25th Apr 2018 at 19:58.
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 10:15
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Warren Buffet 1964-2014 did 20.6%. Which is unheard of.
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