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Gregor MacGregor the Cacique of Poyais

In 1820 Gregor MacGregor, chieftain of the Central American principality of Poyais arrived in London and explained his problem: his principality had a fine climate, friendly natives, and a democratic government, but it needed investors and settlers to help develop it and exploit its abundant natural resources. To this end his government was to issue a £200,000 bond which would pay off at a generous 6%, as well as land rights for a modest 3 shillings an acre. MacGregor would eventually raise funds worth £3.2 billion -at today's prices- for the entirely fictional principality; this makes him arguably the most successful con-men of all time. [more inside]
posted by rongorongo on Dec 31, 2012 - 16 comments

Don't be silly...money doesn't grow on trees. It comes from the sea!

Here's an odd unforeseen consequence of the Columbian drug trade: fishermen along Nicaragua's Mosquito Coast have been been getting rich off of "white lobster"—cocaine dumped overboard by Columbian drug traffickers that, through a fortuitous arrangement of sea currents, washes ashore. [more inside]
posted by Weebot on Oct 31, 2007 - 17 comments

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