The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Ana Carvajal, Hunter Monroe , Catherine Pattillo, and Brian Wynter
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
In several Caribbean states, unregulated investment schemes grew quickly in recent years by claiming unusually high monthly returns and through a system of referrals by existing members. These are features shared with traditional Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes. This paper describes the growth of such schemes, their subsequent collapse, and the policy response of regulators, and presents key policy lessons. The analysis and recommendations draw on country experiences in the Caribbean, and in such diverse countries as the United States, Colombia, Lesotho, and Albania.