The Money Pits

August 15, 2010

By Michael J. Fressola, Staten Island Advance

Human nature is improving with time. You buy it? Some facts suggest the contrary.

“Scandal! Financial Crime, Chicanery and Corruption That Rocked America,” up now at the Museum of American Finance, is a little time-tunnel survey of mostly historic scams perpetrated on unsuspecting investors.

The earliest, a case of illegal speculation, crashed Wall Street in 1792, when beaver pelts were still a hot commodity and New York City’s population was 30,000 souls. Mastermind William Duer had unassailable connections, having been assistant to Alexander Hamilton, architect of the new country’s financial system...


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