The Art of the Bullshit Deal, or the Con (remind you of anyone?)

Peter Joseph characterized Stefan Molyneux as being either a pathological bullshitter or a classical (conscious) con man. This made me think about the nature of a con man and how he achieves his goal, which is to get something from you fraudulently — like money. And he does this by persuading you to trust him, or, in other words, having confidence in him. I found the Wikipedia entry “confidence trick” very helpful, particularly the bibliography.

Thinking about this reminded me of the movie The Sting. Here is the trailer.

It also reminds me of the 1955 song by The Platters, “The Great Pretender.”

Furthermore, thinking of frauds also reminded me of Economic Bubbles and Ponzi Schemes.

Here is a cartoon about John Law and the Mississippi Bubble.

Here is another cartoon about the South Sea Bubble. You can read about both these bubbles, and about other delusions, in Charles Mackay, Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions, 1841.

As to Ponzi schemes, here is a Wikipedia entry: Ponzi scheme
And here is a List of Ponzi schemes.

The largest Ponzi scheme was that of Bernard Madoff, he ripped off 65 billion dollars. Here is a trailer of a movie about him: “The Wizard of Lies.”

Jan Lewan, a Polish polka band leader, pulled off a Ponzi scheme, as portrayed in the film: “The Polka King.”

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