The Remarkable Criminal Financial Career of Charles Ponzi

Link: The Remarkable Criminal Financial Career of Charles K Ponzi, Copyright © 1993- 2019 Mark C. Knutson (PDF)

I commend you to the results of my research into the 1920’s Swindler Charles Ponzi. I began this out of curiosity, looking in the case name reference in the Hennepin County Law Library, and learned that Mr. Ponzi was a frequent guest in the pages of appellate case reports in various federal and state jurisdictions. I also filed a Federal Freedom of Information request and received information about Ponzi’s adventures with the Immigration and Naturalization service.

I welcome suggestions and corrections about my Ponzi essay are welcome and often incorporate them into the document. Thanks to folks for all of the positive comments, and those few corrections.

Charles Ponzi

I have had a number of requests from academic types, and other authors, asking permission to include this in course materials, which I routinely grant as long as they credit my authorship. I reserve all rights, and my permission is required to reprint, quote, or distribute this essay.

I get a lot of questions from people who are wondering if some investment is a Ponzi scheme. Sorry, but I have only taken the time to research Charles Ponzi; I don’t make pronouncements on other schemes. I do hope that reading about this one Ponzi Scheme helps people to be skeptical and use their own judgement when they think an investment or sales scheme may not have a sound financial foundation.

Another common question is “do I have a Ponzi coupon?” Regrettably, I do not. If anybody does, I would love to discuss buying it or getting a copy.

Guide to Enjoying Orchestral Music. Part 1, The Eras

My son Anthony has expressed an interest in orchestral music and is wondering how one can find the sort of music they will like.

First of all, I used to refer to orchestral music as ‘classical’ music, but I learned that classical is the name of one time period and style of orchestral music. We all know what an orchestra is–a collection of physical instruments played by people. These instruments were available, to some degree, for hundreds of years and allowed audiences to listen to richly textured music.

I used to think this music was really complicated. It turns out, it is not complex from the perspective of music theory. The most complex chords are typically triads, major or minor, with melodic elements added on. The music used the same elements we are used to hearing in popular music. It is a system of scales, keys, and chords referred to as the Common Practice Period.

The common practice period is thought of as going from 1650 to 1900. After 1900, composers tried to break free of traditional concepts of harmony, the result being music that is intellectually interesting to some, but regrettably, very few want to listen to it. This shows that the harmonic and melodic norms of the common practice era still reflect what most people enjoy hearing in music.

The common practice period is divided into eras that reflected musical norms or styles common to that era. These eras or periods are:

Baroque 1600-1750. Famous composers include Pachelbel, Bach, and Handel.

Classical 1750-1820. Famous composers include Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. Beethoven is considered a transitional composer as he started firmly in the classical tradition and evolved his style to the extent that later works strained the boundaries of the classical tradition and utilizing the freer form and passion of the Romantic era.

Romantic 1820-1900. Famous composers include Chopin, Liszt, Verdi, Brahms, Debussy, Strauss, Berlioz (Wrote influential Treatise on Instrumentation), Bizet, Mahler, Mussogorsky, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner. As I write this list, I see that the Romantic era provided most of the beloved orchestral works that are still popular today.

20th Century/Modern. As I said, I don’t generally like orchestral music of this era, but some of my favorite works fall in this era. So, I will mention Stravinsky, and Copeland.