Forget Haiti, Think About the Ponzi Victims!

In my morning routine, I came across a letter to the editor of A.M. Costa Rica, January 21, 2010, that really got my blood flowing. An attorney named Jim Irwin seems to be upset that so much media (and human) attention is being paid to the situation in Haiti, and so little to the victims of the Villalobos Brothers Ponzi scheme.

Today, when the focus is on the plight of those less fortunate than us, try and remember the old adage that “Charity begins at home.”

Many persons in this country and others are living close to the poverty line, not because of a natural disaster but because of the callousness of the Costa Rican government.

Apparently Mr. Irwin feels we are paying too much attention to mass graves for 80,000 people a death toll of over 200,000, 2 million homeless, 250,000 in need of urgent medical attention, and not enough to the 6400 victims of the V. brothers, who invested in a Ponzi scheme that turned out to be a Ponzi scheme, some of whom are “living close to the poverty line.” I suspect most people in Haiti would LOVE to be living close to the poverty line, even close to the underside of the poverty line.

I have some sympathy for Ponzi victims. I just have a lot less than for the people in Haiti. Some Ponzi victims probably had to downsize their lifestyle. Some may have had to go back to work or live on their Social Security. The only victim I know personally is living just as well as before, albeit with less net (paper) worth.

I will leave it up the readers to decide if there was anything fishy about an operation that was paying 3.5% a month interest, 42% a year. I have sympathy for the greedy and the foolish as well as those who are victims of centuries of exploitation and natural disaster.

This is not a blog about Haiti, but I suggest anyone interested in why Haiti is as poor and underdeveloped as it is look into the history of the country and pay particular attention to foreign intervention and influence.

Getting back to Costa Rica, when it comes to investments, I would remind you of the well-worn saying “If it looks too good to be true, it IS too good to be true.” Multiply that by 10 in Costa Rica. Mr. Irwin makes one good point, if you get into trouble here, don’t expect the government to be much help. Once you have to go to court, you have probably already lost.

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  1. So If CR ever has a 7.0 earthquake or a Volcano causes extensive damage us "Gringos" are to supposed to forget about you and your countries concerns? WHAT AN INSENTIVIVE HEADLINE! You should be ashamed! I love this forum and feel sorry for ALL PONZI victims, CR or Madoff or anyone but to say that about Haiti victims is truly tasteless. BTW HOW MUCH have YOU donated to the haitiaan victims?