Ponzi schemes

I wonder if Charles Ponzi ever read Charles Dicken’s “The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit”?   Dicken’s novel bombed when it first came out across the Atlantic; a satire on life in 19th century, America.  The Americans were a little prickly about the British at the time.

montague-tiggPerhaps Carlo Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Tebaldo Ponzi picked up a copy in Canada, before he expanded his horizons to defraud the masses in the US.

Originally an Italian born immigrant to America, Carlo Ponzi went north in an effort to make his fortune. His Canadian criminal record was in the alias of Charles Bianchi and so it took a while for the penny to drop back in the US – change of country,  change of name.  He was reborn in Boston – Charles Ponzi.

By the time authorities put two and two together,  Ponzi had scammed millions of dollars from the gullible and greedy.  The dream began first in Italy.  He acquired his skills in Canada before putting the two together, making his mark in history in the US.

Reported as dapper and quick-witted, Ponzi was the charmer with a silver tongue.  He was a fast-learner; Mercury, the Messenger of the Gods, his companion.

In Charles Ponzi’s new scheme, he would borrow money without collateral, promising to return $15 for every $10 left with him for 90 days. It didn’t take long for the public to be knocking at his door.  Reinvesting their money was what Ponzi relied on from his clientele, in order to continue the scam. Reinvesting meant that he didn’t have to pay out, what would have been a current liability.  The books were cooked of course.

The devil was in the detail – Ponzi was supposedly buying International Postal Union reply coupons (international money-orders in our parlance) in poor countries and then cashing them in at a high rate of return in rich countries, generating a huge cash flow.  It sounded feasible.

What finally aroused suspicion, was when he was dealing in more money-orders than were in existence; i.e. his bank notes exceeded his gold reserves. Things were well out of hand and the house of cards tumbled.

So if we put on our forensic astrology hats, what’s likely to be in the mix?  Neptune, the fantasist and fraudster is a given.  A Sun in Pisces, perhaps.   It depends on what his ego is chasing – the money or the dream.

  • Taurus – the zodiac sign for materialism and money.
  • Mercury – the inventiveness
  • Moon  – the driving need to ‘charm’.
  • Mars (action) and Pluto (power) would likely be working in harness.

Charles-Ponziclick on image for full size

Carlo Ponzi’s birth time is rectified in accordance with his arrival in Boston at the age of twenty.  By his own account, Ponzi had $2.51 in his pocket, having gambled away the rest of his life savings during the voyage. “I landed in this country with $2.50 in cash and $1 million in hopes, and those hopes never left me.”

There are no prizes for guessing that his Sun sign is in Pisces; as is Venus, the money symbol.

  • The majority of planets are on the left-hand side of the chart – we can predict an assertive character.
  • Ascendant 22° Gemini – the ominous degree in Mercury’s realm (planetary ruler of Gemini) – communication.
  • With a 10th house cusp in Aquarius, we can expect an innovative career plus the 24th Degree; in a Pisces field of endeavour.
  • Mercury at the MC, the mid-heaven and cusp of the career house mirrors innovative, Uranus (sudden changes).  He would change schemes easily – get-rich quick schemes his call-cry.
  • Mars is in the 1st house and peregrine – ego is running amok
  • Mercury square Pluto – power in communication.
  • Pluto square Moon (blue) – driving need for power
  • Moon in Leo at the IC; home territory for the Moon.
  • The star of the show and a stellium of planets, Taurus, Taurus, Taurus –they are bundled on the cusp and in the 12th house of the mind.  We note here also that there is no handle on the bucket of planets to guide the contents.
  • Ponzi’s Part of Fortune, his lot in life is at 4°Sagittarius, conjunct the Lunar North Node (public arena) in the 6th house of ethics.  Jupiter is also quindecile this aspect. 

We can suggest that this individual was an innovative addict, Ponzi never knew when enough was enough.  That is what brought about his downfall.

cardsPonzi may have been born in the 19th century, however his crimes continued into the next. The life and adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit was on the bookshelves in New York by the time of Ponzi’s downfall.  Americans had begun to appreciate British satire.

We’ll never see an identical chart; the likes of Charles Ponzi again, however there will always be contenders.

Bernard Lawrence Madoff certainly gave it a nudge before the end of the 20th century and also continued beyond the millennium.  It wasn’t until the GFC in 2008, that Madoff’s house of cards came tumbling down.

I am sure that Bernie Madoff would have styled himself on Montague Tigg as a kid. The Anglo-Bengalee Disinterested Loan and Life Assurance Company likely appealed to an eleven year-old.

Bernard Lawrence Madoff took the rap; guilty to 11 criminal charges, including securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and making a false filing of documents with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bernie-MadoffThe self-confessed author of the biggest financial swindle in history, he was sentenced to the maximum 150 years behind bars for what the judge called an extraordinarily evil fraud that shook the American nation’s faith in the system;  a staggering toll on rich and poor alike.

We can reproduce a natal chart on this fraudster, because Bernie Madoff’s birth time is on the public record.  At seventy-five years of age, Madoff is not going to walk the streets of New York again, nor spend any more of the billions of dollars, he defrauded.

Straight up, we have the MC/mid heaven at the ominous 22° and in the zodiac sign of Taurus.  If that’s not a warning that this man’s career is destined to be ominous and in the realm of money, I’ll eat my hat.

  • Venus (pink) is the planet that rules the Taurus and this planet rules the entire chart from the 10th house/ career, as well as being the midpoint between Ascendant and Descendant.  I don’t think I need to even comment here do I?
  • Jupiter (green) inflates the money relationship exact the Descendant.
  • Born on a dark Moon – conjunct Sun, the stellium has no planet to hold the reins.  A wife could fill this role, however it appears not.  We shall check Ruth Madoff’s chart to see why.
  • Keeping a tight orb, Neptune (turquoise) is peregrine – subterfuge running amok in the 1st house; the ego.
  • Saturn is peregrine as well in the house of other people’s money (the 8th) – authority without challenge.
  • Mercury (yellow) square Pluto – power in communication.  This man is a patriarch; dreams of a dynasty perhaps.

As we have no further times of birth for the rest of the family, we can view their input through Bernie’s line of sight rather than an event chart. All we ever need for a bi-wheel is a reliable clock time and we can witness the events and other players.

Bernard Madoff’s natal chart is the inner wheel and each of the family’s natal charts will be the outer wheels.  First up the wife and co-conspirator; his better half.

Bernie-RuthThe natal chart of Ruth M. Madoff nee Alpern reveals what I would consider a partnership, not just in marriage, but also in this Ponzi scheme.  She is with him all the way to the bank and yet she escaped imprisonment.  I believe she is on her banana lounge in Florida soaking up the sun, while her ever-lovin’ spends the rest of his life indoors.

According to court documents, Ruth Madoff received more than $3 million from the business over the last six years to pay off her personal expenses credit card.

There is not a planet in Ruth Madoff’s natal chart that is not in on the scheme.  I doubt you will need me to interpret.  She is right on his hammer and he – hers.  They’ve worked as a team before, no doubt.

  • Bernie Madoff’s natal peregrine planets (Saturn and Neptune in the inner wheel) are certainly not reined-in by his wife – there is no tension.
  • Ruth’s Neptune in the 2nd house (personal assets).  She is certainly a strong part of the subterfuge plan of cheating the public.
  • It’s all there in the charts…

Then there is the dynasty: Bernie’s brother Peter Barnett Madoff admitted guilt for his involvement as ‘chief compliance officer’ with the judge handing down ten years and get this…  the court gave him extended leave to attend his grandchild’s bar mitzvah ceremony before he moved to his new home behind bars.

Bernie-ShanaNext is the niece, Shana Diane Madoff Skoller Swanson – she went to law school in order to take her seat at the ponzi scheme table. Shana Madoff was responsible for ensuring that BMIS complied with its legal and regulatory obligations and signed documents assuring the SEC that BMIS’s business records were truthful and accurate.

She lied.  Oh yes, she’s still walking the streets, as well.

  • Shana Madoff’s bi-wheel reveals her involvement with Mercury operating in both charts; both sides of the table.
  • The patriarch’s Neptune is opposite her Moon – they are certainly in cahoots.

There are more of course; loyal staff, well rewarded for their compliance in the scheme plus the two sons of Bernard and Ruth Madoff.  As directors of the company Mark and Andrew had the responsibility to know what was going on. Pink glasses helped when the money was flowing in their direction it seems – they only dobbed Dad, when the house of cards was collapsing.

Was blood thicker than water?

Madoff-sonsWe are told that Madoff’s sons reported their father to federal authorities in December 2008 following his confession of the Ponzi scheme and the next day Madoff was arrested and charged with securities fraud. The astrology charts tell us that it was his eldest son in particular who was ashamed enough to turn his father in; the same son who committed suicide two years to the day, later – Mark David Madoff.

  • Natal Mercury (yellow) opposite transiting Neptune (turquoise) – Mark blew the whistle.
  • Natal Saturn at his father’s 7th house cusp – the son and heir.

As for Andrew Madoff, what can I say – it would appear that he was not close to his father, any more than to satisfy his Moon’s needs – his drive.  Andrew took direction well, it would seem.  Oh and the lunar nodal axis karmic connection is there, running through his veins; in fact all of them have karma in common.  There is no escaping that.

They’ve all worked the system together before.