Hear: A Ponzi Drama

Not a house of cards, but still needs propping up girlonbike/Planet Money Flickr pool hide caption

toggle caption girlonbike/Planet Money Flickr pool



  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/101885403/136428987" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

On today's Planet Money:

Bernie Madoff woke up in jail today, after pleading guilty to 11 charges stemming from an enormous Ponzi scheme. How enormous? The most recent court documents put the figure at $65 billion. (NPR's Jim Zarroli describes the courthouse scene.)

In another amazing Planet Money Radio Dramatization, Alex Blumberg, Adam Davidson and David Kestenbaum act out a Ponzi scheme of their own.

With a cameo by Harvey Pitt, former chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who suggests that the estimate of $65 billion is "badly inflated."

Bonus: Comment of the week, after the jump.

Download the podcast; or subscribe. Intro music: Doves' "Pounding." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Flickr

Jason Rosenfeld saw the item "What Is The Economy?" and took a whack at trying to get an answer from an online version of 20 Questions.

He reports this Q&A with the machine, which we'll post here from one to 20:

1. Is it hard? No.
2. Does it have a tail? No.
3. Can you smell it? No.
4. Can you buy it? No.
5. Is it located in the sky? No.
6. Does it have feelings? No.
7. Can it affect you (cause an effect to you)? Yes.
8. Do most people use this daily? Yes.
9. Is it white? No.
10. Can it help you find your way? No.
11. Is it soft? No.
12. Is it considered valuable? Sometimes.
13. Is it ferocious? Sometimes.
14. Is it annoying? Sometimes.
15. Is it spontaneous? Sometimes.
16. Is it a feeling? No.
17. Does it involve contact with other humans? Yes.
18. Does it make noise? No.
19. Is it pleasurable? Sometimes.
20. I am guessing that it is stupidity? Right, Wrong, Close

So is the economy animal, vegetable or mineral? Says the computer: "It is classified as Unknown."



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from