When Is A Ponzi Scheme Not A Ponzi Scheme?

Ray Bitar CEO for Full Tilt Poker

Ray Bitar CEO for Full Tilt Poker

The fall out from Full Tilt Poker continues and now includes the arrest of Raymond Bitar, the CEO for Tiltware the company behind Full Tilt Poker.

Mr Bitar is accused of running a ponzi scheme in which new investors/players pay money so that the existing investors/players can get paid. With these types of schemes the whole edifice will crumble because there are only so much money in the world and soon it will dry up, if that’s what happened. Obviously Raymond Bitar is pleading his innocence and say’s that all the players will get their money back.

This little episode asks the question, when is a ponzi scheme not a ponzi scheme? The answer is simple a ponzi scheme is not a ponzi scheme if the government is running it!

In the US and in the UK both governments have issued bonds, iou, pfi and other acronyms in order to get money on the promise that future tax payers will pay it back. Clearly the future tax payers do not have a say in the matter and it is taken on trust that they will not object to funding the bank bail outs, nuclear proliferation and other ‘worthy’ causes.

The bank bail out is the best example about a ponzi scheme gone bad. On Lehman Day the casino banking that went on finally caught up   the bankers and we the ordinary people finally got to glimpse behind the curtain and witnessed that these bankers were not investing in green technology of creating a better world. They were betting on outcomes in which they had no idea what was involved. The maths behind the derivative trades and schemes could not be understood by the ordinary banker because they were based on theoretical formulas that were plucked out of the air.

So when it all finally collapsed George Bush et al were given an ultimatum that they either put future generations ‘into hock’ or they let the whole thing collapse and let ‘the market’ decide? They created the ponzi scheme because if they went the other way and let the market decide it ‘risked’ the whole system melting down and bringing a tsunami of crisis that would destroy the world economy or so we were led to believe. My view is that the rescue package was installed to ‘save the bacon’ of political supporters because as we have seen since, casino banking is still with us and every banker is doing the exact same thing they were doing before.

So in a way Mr Bitar is unlucky. As in poker you do need an element of luck. Usually you create your own luck i.e you only play when you are in the dominant position. However, a bad player may get a lucky break and that destroy your whole game when he takes away your chips. Full Tilt Poker should have brought the government and probably this arrest of  Raymond Bitar would never have happened.