Sunday, 14 June 2009

Dear Friends,                                                                                             


This past week one of South Africa’s largest Pyramid financial schemes was uncovered—estimated to be worth up to R10—billion.  A Pyramid or Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors rather than from any actual profit earned.  The quick payouts to the original investors end up encouraging them to reinvest, but the scheme is destined to collapse because the earnings, if any, are less than the abnormally high payments.  In this particular Ponzi scheme investors were promised returns of up to 200% a year on their investment.  This encouraged people to invest millions hoping for even more millions in return. 


I agree with one commentator who suggested that: “The real obscenity here is not the crime.  The real obscenity is that those with unbelievably large sums to “invest” in the scheme actually desire more money than they have already accumulated….this is not common or garden greed.  This is a profound disease of the soul.  An addiction, if you will.  But, for some reason, it is ok and acceptable to be thus obsessed with money.  They are labelled “investors” and “entrepreneurs”, and serve as role models for the upwardly mobile.  In reality, in the depths of their being, they are nothing more than [sick addicts] in need of an intervention.”


In this same week we learnt that Real Madrid bought 24 year old Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United for a world record transfer fee of 80 mill pounds!  This is another example of our sick society in need of an intervention, although very few, if any, are saying so.  And we are not exempt from guilt because we support the teams that pay such ludicrous amounts of money to individuals in a world that groans in hunger pains.  The fact that sports people get paid more than Doctors and teachers reveals again how skewed our  values have become.  Wargames: The Dead Code download Lord have mercy! 

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