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Ponzi Schemes and the Financial Sector: DMG and DRFE in Colombia

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  • Marc Hofstetter

    ()

  • Daniel Mejía

    ()

  • José Nicolás Rosas

    ()

  • Miguel Urrutia

    ()

Abstract

By the time the Colombian government closed DMG and DRFE, two Ponzi schemes that were operating in Colombia until 2008, over half a million customers had deposited funds corresponding to 1.2% of Colombia’s annual GDP. We show that the individuals who invested in DMG and DRFE obtained close to 40% more loans in the formal financial sector prior to the government closing these firms, compared to similar individuals who did not invest in these pyramids. Moreover, deposits in the formal financial sector fell in those municipalities affected by these two pyramids: a one-standard deviation increase in the municipal presence of the pyramid schemes reduced municipal saving deposits by 2.9% and Certificate Deposits by close to 10%. After the firms were shut down, the proportion of nonperforming loans of investors rose 35% above non-investors’ loans; two years later, investors’ deposits had not yet fully recovered.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc Hofstetter & Daniel Mejía & José Nicolás Rosas & Miguel Urrutia, 2017. "Ponzi Schemes and the Financial Sector: DMG and DRFE in Colombia," Documentos CEDE 015609, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000089:015609
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    File URL: http://economia.uniandes.edu.co/publicaciones/dcede2017-35.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hofstetter, Marc & Mejía, Daniel & Rosas, José Nicolás & Urrutia, Miguel, 2018. "Ponzi schemes and the financial sector: DMG and DRFE in Colombia," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 18-33.
    2. Chris Jarvis, 2000. "The Rise and Fall of the Pyramid Schemes in Albania," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 47(1), pages 1-1.
    3. Cox-Edwards, Alejandra & Rodríguez-Oreggia, Eduardo, 2009. "Remittances and Labor Force Participation in Mexico: An Analysis Using Propensity Score Matching," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1004-1014, May.
    4. Lewis, Mervyn K., 2012. "New dogs, old tricks. Why do Ponzi schemes succeed?," Accounting forum, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 294-309.
    5. Artzrouni, Marc, 2009. "The mathematics of Ponzi schemes," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 190-201, September.
    6. Cortés, Darwin & Santamaría, Julieth & Vargas, Juan F., 2016. "Economic shocks and crime: Evidence from the crash of Ponzi schemes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 263-275.
    7. Wang-Sheng Lee, 2013. "Propensity score matching and variations on the balancing test," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 47-80, February.
    8. Bhattacharya, Utpal, 2003. "The optimal design of Ponzi schemes in finite economies," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 2-24, January.
    9. Tennant, David, 2011. "Why do people risk exposure to Ponzi schemes? Econometric evidence from Jamaica," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 328-346, July.
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    1. Hofstetter, Marc & Mejía, Daniel & Rosas, José Nicolás & Urrutia, Miguel, 2018. "Ponzi schemes and the financial sector: DMG and DRFE in Colombia," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 18-33.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ponzi Schemes; Pyramids; Colombia; Financial Sector; Savings and Loans; Loan Ratings.;

    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics
    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics
    • G - Financial Economics

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