Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2015-05-30
The infamous “Ponzi scheme” shot to prominence in December 2008 with the arrest of stock broker Bernie Madoff, flushed out by the banking crisis, who was shown to have caused losses of at least 10 billion dollars to investors. Over a period of 17 years, Madoff had not invested any of the funds entrusted to him, but merely placed them all directly into his personal bank account. Corrected for inflation, this haul was roughly 100-fold greater than the amount Charles Ponzi had amassed before his arrest in 1920. Ponzi made almost 10 million dollars within 7 months, based on his eponymous investment
scam scheme. Ponzi offered 50% return on investment — within 45 days — but paid off the lucky few early investors with the cash of suckers buying in later, and he made no real investments himself. The dupes who naïvely invest with a Ponzi operator are pawns, easily manipulated peons who can be sacrificed to a greater purpose.
For a church that encompasses such a large breadth and depth of the human spectrum and social life, we have perhaps done a very poor job of reminding the world at large not to take us for granted, not to treat us as an evil, lurking, corporate pawnsy scheme.
No, the Federal Reserve owns the banks (hence FDIC) as well as the debt currency that we use everyday. The Federal government has pulled the biggest pawnsy scheme in history because of the Federal Reserve.
An eggsciting eggsample of an eggcellent eggcorn.
Nice find! I think your justification for the substitution works, but when I saw the header for your post I was thought you might argue that ponzi schemes are like pawnshops—you often hand something over in the hope that you’ll get it back eventually.
I like the “pawnsie” spelling best – something patsy-looking about it?
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .
The pawnshop and patsy connections are great. “Patsy scheme” must be behind the strange pansy scheme hits out there; it’s a blend. Two first person accounts are presented below. The last link is long, but presents an interesting look at someone casting about for an explanation for Ponzi scheme within days of Madoff’s arrest.
I could be wrong, but I suspect our banking system has become like a patsy scheme, covering up the missing money with housing loans. [...] It is a make believe world of money changing hands. Unpaid loans and interest rates being like forged paper money, boosting our gross national product. How is this not a patsy scheme? If the rest of the world stops buying into our patsy scheme, we are in serious trouble.
Response:Is a ’ Patsy Scheme ’ an economic term ?
Reply: You are right, I goofed. The term word I meant to use is “Ponzi scheme”. However, my spell check doesn’t like that word, and it does not seem to be in my dictionary. Patsy means someone easily imposed upon and is in my dictionary, and comes close to the meaning of a Ponzi scheme.
Ponzi scheme; it’s not a term you hear very often, right? Well at least it wasn’t a word I recall hearing before, so, I had to do some research to find out what it meant. To show my ignorance (which I’m not boasting about mind you), when I first heard the term used in connection with this Madoff mess, I thought the reporter said it was a Potsie scheme. I couldn’t get the connection with this Wall Street business man and a character from the television show Happy Days named “Potsie” Weber. I used to enjoy watching Happy Days and remember Potsie being somewhat of a naïve character, not the brightest bulb on the block, but definitely one with a strong sense of moral values. None of this was making any sense. Then I wondered if I heard the word incorrectly and he was actually saying patsy scheme. Oh, man I was lost! The term “Ponzi” scheme that reporters were tossing out left and right at will, like it was there first name, had me wondering what in the world it meant. I knew there was only one place to turn to and thankfully there is an information highway at my fingertips, or I’d still be scratching my noggin.
Well I have to offer my gratitude to the all knowing Google gods for leading me to a clearer understanding of what this illegal activity known as a Ponzi scheme actually means. Of course I wasn’t much help to the investigation by incorrectly typing in the term pawnsy. That threw me off course, as there were only about 60 odd entries, until I looked at one of the links which stated “did you mean ponzi scheme?” Bingo!
First person News comment at time of Madoff arrest