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Most of us would know of Bernie Madoff’s jail sentence of 150 years, for running a “Ponzi Scheme”, where repayments to shareholders depended on a constant stream of new victims subscribing to his fund.

It’s now been claimed that his inspiration for such a Ponzi Scheme is simply that modern governments operate in exactly that manner.

They no longer act as stewards of your “contributions” for your future aged welfare payments. They have actually pre-spent your money and depend entirely on future victims (taxpayers) to bail them out.

There may be some technical difference between Bernie’s Ponzi Scheme and the Government’s Ponzi Schemes, and I can only think of one. This being that payments to Bernie were ‘voluntary’, compared with ‘compulsory’ payments to governments.

If there is a message from all this, it is probably that anyone running a Ponzi Scheme, either Bernie or the government, does not deserve your trust or confidence.

Confidence is what we all desperately need, after surviving the recent market meltdown.

Now, more than ever, we have an obligation to understand our own finances, as the responsibility for our own future, belongs to each one of us.

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