Felix Stalder on Wed, 16 Sep 1998 16:26:07 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Pyramid schemes, call for texts

Pyramid schemes all over.

A pyramid scheme is basically a bubble that grows by drawing in more and
more participants who believe in its reality, mostly as a way of making
money. It must grow to sustain itself. If it doesn't, if the steady supply
of new participants stops, the bubble bursts. The first ones make money
while all the rest looses. The chain letter is the classic example of a
pyramid scheme. 

However, in a more glizzy way, much of speculative capitalism, such a
short term and medium term trends in the financial markets, is organized
as pyramid schemes.  As Doyne Farmer, physicist turned financial market
consultant/speculator, explained at this year's Ars Electronica, short
term speculation is about finding the point when the markets -- brokers,
or their computer programs, observing one another -- create a new pyramid
and getting out before the it burst. The earlier you get in, the more
money you make, the later the more you loose. 

Analog, and much less glizzy, were pyramid schemes that spread through
Eastern Europe in the 90s. Especially devastating was the one in Albania.
If you have any knowledge about the Albanian or other pyramid schemes,
please write it down and post it on Nettime. We are very interested. 



Les faits sont faits.

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