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Janet Tavakoli: Wall Street Mortgage-Derivatives Trading Was 'A Massive Ponzi Scheme'

First Posted: 04/17/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 04:30 PM ET

In a "60 Minutes" segment last night, Morley Safer interviewed a number of "pigeons" -- what con artists call their victims -- of prominent scams. Among them were victims of Madoff's Ponzi scheme and Pigeon King International, a multi-million dollar Canadian pigeon-farming scam.

But derivatives expert and HuffPost blogger Janet Tavaokli told "60 Minutes" that these frauds were peanuts compared to the financial meltdown. The 2008 crisis, she said, was "a massive Ponzi scheme" in which traders were "buying each other's products to artificially keep the prices up so that the bubble didn't collapse."

"It's the biggest crime against the American economy in our lifetimes -- in fact, ever."

Watch the full segment below (Tavakoli appears at the 9:40 mark):


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Filed by Grace Kiser  |