Did George Rice Foresee Bernie Madoff?

Allen Matkins
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Allen Matkins

Goldfield, Nevada exploded into Nevada's largest city in the first decade of the Twentieth Century.  It supported two stock exchanges - the Goldfield Mining Stock Exchange (which began in the Northern Saloon) and the Goldfield Stock and Exchange Board.  The town also attracted its share of speculators and confidence men, including George Graham Rice. 

Rice wrote a colorful account of his misadventures in stock promotion for Adventure Magazine.  These memoirs were published as a book entitled "My Adventures With Your Money".   Rice's book was written over a century ago and yet his description of the most dangerous type of financial swindler seems to be describing Bernie Madoff:

[He] occupies a pedestal in the community; is generally a man of excellent financial standing, a member of a stock exchange, employs large capital; appeals to thinkers or those who flatter themselves that they know the difference between a gold bar and gold brick, and seek to separate from their money all classes and conditions of men and women with accumulations large or small.

For an early decision involving New York's Martin Act, George Graham Rice, and alleged touting, see People v. Rice, 221 A.D. 443, 223 N.Y.S. 566 (1927). 

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