Gregor MacGregor, a financier who urged investors to buy bonds issued by a fictional country. Photo: Wikipedia Commons

A scam that took place 200 years ago may still plague us. In 1821, Gregor MacGregor, a Scottish merchant, devised a fraud that has strange echoes today.

MacGregor was the son of a baker from Glengyle, Scotland. He had served in the British Army in Spain and Venezuela. MacGregor, who possessed hypnotic persuasive powers, was swiftly promoted to General. He had hardly seen action, but was given to embellishment.

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