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Speculation & Financial Risk-Taking

The purpose of this guide is to help students and other scholars locate relevant academic sources related to speculation and financial risk-taking.

Charles "The Boston Swindler" Ponzi (1882-1949)

" 1920, Ponzi's sham firm in Boston collected an estimated $10 million from hopeful investors who had been drawn in by his pledge to pay a 50 percent return on the money via the selling of overseas postal reply coupons. The savvy con artist, who targeted Boston's Italian American community and other working-class folk, merely paid his first round of investors with funds deposited by newcomers." More...

SOURCE: Charles Ponzi. (2014). In Encyclopedia of World Biography (Vol. 34). Detroit: Gale.

Source:Wikipedia Commons

Gold Mining Fraud - The Bre-X Saga

"One of the worst scandals ever experienced in the securities markets occurred in 1997 when it was discovered that claims of an unprecedented gold find in Indonesia by a Canadian company known as Bre-X were fraudulent. Ore samples had been salted. The Bre-X stock had soared to $4.5 billion in value before exposure of this hoax. The company’s mining engineer mysteriously disappeared while flying in a helicopter over the site." More...

SOURCE: "4 The Market Boom." A Financial History of the United States, Jerry W. Markham, Routledge, 1st edition, 2002.

Accounting Irregularities and the Collapse of Enron Corporation

"The scandal resulted in a wave of new regulations and legislation designed to increase the accuracy of financial reporting for publicly traded companies. The most important of those measures, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002), imposed harsh penalties for destroying, altering, or fabricating financial records." More...

SOURCE: Enron scandal. (2017). In Encyclopædia Britannica.

Bernie Madoff Investment Scandal (2008)

"The Madoff scandal was a fraudulent investment scheme, exposed in 2008, that was perpetrated over a number of years by Wall Street financier and former NASDAQ chairman Bernard Madoff. It was an elaborate, high-stakes Ponzi scheme in which current investors were paid returns on their investments from the funds invested by new investors rather than from actual market gains." More...

SOURCE: Ciment, J. (2013). Madoff (Bernard), scandal. In R. Chapman, & J. Ciment (Eds.), Culture wars in America: An encyclopedia of issues, viewpoints, and voices (2nd ed.). London, UK: Routledge.


Books, E-Books and Other Resources -- Fraudulent Speculative Activity

Revisiting Bre-X Scandal